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A Guide to Family Law in Miami

If you are going through a divorce, the court will examine a wide range of factors, determining whether you are due spousal support or not.

Family Law in MiamiWho Decides?

Spousal maintenance, spousal support, and alimony are all spoken in the same sentence. What does it all mean? Well, one spouse in a divorce may receive regular payments as decided by the court to maintain the same lifestyle or to pay expenses.

This is especially true in the case where the female spouse has never worked or has put off a career to take care of the family.

Be aware…The Court does not always grant alimony; however, in the case described above, it is fairly common.

Is Alimony Tax Deductible?

Alimony is considered tax deductible for the paying spouse and the receiving spouse. The paying spouse has incurred an expense and the receiving spouse has gained income. Therefore, it is essential that good records are kept, in lieu of an IRS challenge.

Organizational Tips

The person paying the alimony should keep a list of dates, mailing addresses, and the various check numbers. Keep the original checks in a safe place. Try not to pay in cash, but if you do, make sure you have receipts.

Be aware…Those cash receipts need to be signed by the receiving spouse.

Records should be kept for at least three years from when the last tax return was filed and you deducted the payments. Of course, many attorneys will say that you should always keep those records.

For the person receiving the alimony, you should maintain written proof of date that you received payment, amount you received, and check numbers, bank deposits, and a copy of signed cash receipts.

Where is the Agreement?

Both spouses can agree to the alimony amount and duration. However, if you are unable to agree, the court will always set the terms on your behalf.

Want Some Advice? Allowing the Court to decide alimony can cost you time and money. An experienced divorce attorney can save you all the headache.

Receive or Pay?

If you are the one paying the alimony, then you should consider this one of the costs to marrying someone that you thought you would spend your life with. This doesn’t put you in a bad light since the alimony law has been in place for a number of decades.

If you think that you will receive alimony from your spouse, then the court, if you cannot decide between yourselves, will look at your current earnings, if any or your capacity to earn.

What is Considered a Lifestyle Change?

The Court may ask you to make lifestyle changes. If you work part-time, for example, you may be asked to find a full-time job that pays better. The court will sometimes hire vocational evaluators to assess job prospects, give vocational tests and look for potential employers.

No - You Didn’t…

If your spouse doesn’t want to pay the alimony and you have an order from the court, you can take legal action immediately. A divorce attorney will help you to enforce the alimony order by engaging in a contempt proceeding.

Be advised...The attorney can also file a lawsuit based on earnings assignment order.

Give the Orders

Alimony orders can be enforced like any other court order. If you use an experienced attorney that knows how to handle these proceedings properly, the alimony order can be enforced with a high possibility of receiving regular alimony payments. The court will order jail time for a reluctant spouse who refuses to pay.

Contact a divorce attorney to determine alimony eligibility as well as the amount and duration or to enforce an alimony order. You cannot do this on your own. You need legal help so contact a divorce attorney immediately. Call the legal team at Estevez-Pazos Law Firm today at 305-717-7130.

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