Can I Waive my Right to Alimony?
Can you? Yes. Should you? The answer to this question is a bit more complicated. Florida law allows individuals to waive their right to receive alimony in prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, and divorce settlement agreements. They cannot waive their right to temporary alimony or the right to have their spouses cover their lawyer fees while their divorces are pending.
If you are considering waiving your right to receive alimony after your divorce is finalized, first speak with an experienced divorce lawyer about everything you are choosing to give up by waiving this right. You might not realize the true value of alimony or how it can be used to protect you in the future.
How Alimony is Calculated in Florida
Alimony is determined according to the length of a couple’s marriage and various factors about each partner’s financial and personal needs. In some cases, the court determines that there is no need to create an alimony order for one of the spouses in a marriage. When it does determine that alimony is appropriate, it then determines which type of alimony order suits the recipient’s needs: rehabilitative alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony, or permanent alimony.
Factors the court considers to determine an appropriate type and amount of alimony to award include:
- Each partner’s income and separate assets;
- Each partner’s employability based on his or her education and work experience;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- Each partner’s age and health; and
- Each partner’s contributions, financial and non-economic, to the marriage.
What to Consider Before you Waive your Right to Receive Alimony
You might consider waiving your right to alimony because you have a job that pays well or because you want to sever your relationship with your former partner completely when your divorce is finalized. For some people, the thought of receiving alimony is embarrassing, such as men who feel they should not be “taken care of” by their former wives and women who feel that receiving alimony goes against their feminist sensibilities.
Alimony is meant to compensate the lesser earning spouse for the economic consequences he or she suffered by sacrificing his or her career for the benefit of the couple’s home and children. Women traditionally suffered this economic consequence, but when a man takes on this role, he is equally entitled to receive alimony. Entering the workforce after a long period of unemployment typically means starting in a lower level position than the position one would have achieved if he or she had not left the workforce, and this can mean a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars or more compounded over the length of an individual’s career.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Family Lawyer
Contact Steve W. Marsee, P.A. in Orlando today to set up your initial consultation with an experienced family lawyer. During our consultation, we will answer any questions you have about alimony or other aspects of the divorce process and work with you to determine the next step for your case.