Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A
Every family is different and accordingly, every divorce case brings unique circumstances and legal issues. The attorneys at Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A have unparalleled experience in helping our clients navigate a difficult process. Through our years of combined experience and continuing legal education, we are equipped to handle whatever challenges arise in a family law matter. One thing that our firm does exceptionally well is to empathize with the intense emotions our clients often experience. At the same time, we maintain our ultimate focus on providing sensible advice on how to achieve the best outcome for our clients. Whether through a trial or through settlement, our goal is to advocate for our clients in a comprehensive and straightforward manner so that our clients can navigate the divorce process and move forward with confidence that they have gotten the best possible result.
Alimony is support for one spouse that is paid by the other. By its nature, alimony is paid to one party as if he or she were receiving “income.” It is taxable to the party receiving the alimony and deductible by the party who is paying the alimony. In divorce cases, alimony may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis for the support and maintenance of either spouse. The amount and duration of alimony is generally based upon the needs of the spouse receiving alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay. Other factors that the court may consider in determining an appropriate award of alimony include the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of each party, the financial resources of each party, the contribution of each party to the marriage (including homemaking and child care), the separate estate and earning capacity of each party, the time needed for either party to acquire education or training to enable him or her to find employment, and any other relevant factors the court regards as fair and proper to consider. Alimony may be awarded in cash or property, and it may be payable periodically (monthly, quarterly or annually) or in one lump sum.
Florida law does not provide a standard mathematical formula for determining an appropriate amount or length for alimony payments. Because there is no standard, a judge or jury has significant latitude to determine the amount of an alimony award. Accordingly, in any case where alimony is a factor, having an attorney who can provide the property advice and advocacy may highly impact the outcome of an alimony award.
FLorida law makes both parents responsible for their children’s financial support and considers not only each party’s income and/or ability to earn income, but also the expenses parents pay on behalf of their children including, but not limited to, health insurance, extracurricular activities, educational expenses and child care expenses. The attorneys at Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A have experience and training on which you can rely to prepare and advocate for the appropriate child support award for your children.
Florida is an “equitable division of property” state. For divorcing spouses, that means that the property they acquired during the marriage will be divided equitably – not to be confused with equally – taking a number of factors into consideration. These factors may include the conduct of either spouse, the separate estate of each party, the contributions of each party to the marriage, and the couple’s income practices and historical patterns.
While the standards provided by Florida law are fairly open to interpretation as to what constitutes an “equitable” division of property, our attorneys specialize in high-asset, complex cases. These cases require a level of financial expertise in matters of valuation, discovery of assets and other issues which may accompany the division of a significant marital estate.
The attorneys at Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A have knowledge in the areas of business, financial planning, taxation and accounting. Regardless of whether you are the spouse who has traditionally handled the family finances, we are equipped with the resources to handle and, if necessary, try your case.