My Spouse Earns The Same As Me. Do I Still Need To Pay Alimony?
These days, both spouses are likely to work full-time. Gone are the days when one spouse stayed at home, raised the kids, and maintained the home. In the modern era, many spouses see this arrangement as antiquated or even misogynist. Financial pressures also force both spouses to work full-time in many cases – whether they want to or not. But how does this type of situation affect alimony? Will you still need to hand over part of your income if your spouse earns the same as you?
Alimony is Not Required When Spouses Earn the Same
Generally speaking, alimony is not required if both spouses earn roughly the same amount of money. The reason for this is obvious: Both spouses are financially self-sustaining, and neither spouse actually needs support from the other. During the marriage, there was not a situation where one spouse was dependent on the other for basic living expenses. If the two spouses had not been married, they would have each been perfectly able to live independently. Divorce will not affect either spouse’s ability to earn the same amount of income, aside from some missed tax advantages that come with being married.
Making Arrangements Out of Court
You don’t need to go to trial in order to have a judge tell you that alimony is unnecessary. Instead, you can mutually agree that alimony is not required by creating a separation agreement out of court. This will save you time, money, and stress – and you can also determine how many other aspects of your marriage will be handled as well.
Florida is Gradually Moving Away from Alimony
Florida is gradually moving away from alimony, as it just recently eliminated permanent alimony in most cases. This means that the prospect of not paying alimony is even more likely in a state like Florida.
How Do We Know if Our Incomes Are Similar Enough?
What exactly “counts” as similar income? How do you know whether your income is similar enough to your spouse’s? There’s no clear rule on this matter, but the courts generally award alimony based on “genuine need.” If your spouse’s income is similar enough to your own that there’s no “genuine need,” you will likely not be required to pay alimony. If the difference in monthly income is less than $2,000, there is usually no need to pay alimony.
Exceptions to the Rule
That being said, the courts take into account more than just income when awarding alimony. Spouses may have certain assets that need to be considered, such as inheritance, access to trust funds, real estate, and so on. In addition, some assets may generate income outside of your employment, such as rental units and stocks.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in Florida?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Orlando divorce attorney, we can help you strive for the best possible outcome. If you earn roughly the same amount of money as your spouse, there’s really no need to pay alimony. With our help, you can show how similar your income is to that of your spouse and strive for the best possible results. Book your consultation today with Steve Marsee, P.A., and we can assist with not only your alimony arrangement, but also every other aspect of your divorce.