Are Recipients of Alimony Required to Look for Work?
There are many reasons the family courts in Florida order one spouse, usually the higher earner, to pay the other alimony during divorce. Often, alimony is awarded when one spouse becomes financially dependent on the other during the marriage. Spousal support is then meant to provide for the dependent spouse until they can support themselves.
Alimony is not meant to last forever, though. This is particularly true now that Florida law has largely eliminated permanent alimony. Recipients of alimony are expected to be proactive and try to improve their financial situation. So, what happens when someone fails to take these steps? If your former spouse is still receiving alimony but is not trying to support themselves, there are steps you can take. Below, our Orlando spousal support lawyer explains what they are.
Discuss the Matter with Your Ex
Not all former spouses feel bitter and resentful towards each other. Sometimes, people are able to walk away from a divorce and still remain civil with their former partner. This is particularly true, and even more important, when the former spouses are co-parenting together.
If it is possible to speak to your spouse in a healthy manner, try discussing your concerns with them. Ask them if they plan on obtaining training or employment and if not, tell them of the difficult financial position they are putting you in. You could also offer to support them in other non-financial ways. For example, if they need to look for work, you could offer to take the children more often to help them do that.
If you and your former spouse cannot discuss the matter and work things out yourselves, you need to start documenting anything that has anything to do with the case. For example, if your former partner has sent you a text telling you that they will never look for work because they are receiving alimony, it is important to save that text. Also, if you notice they are making large, unnecessary purchases without making any effort to support themselves, you should also document that.
Legal Options if Your Former Spouse is not Looking for Work
You may assume there is nothing you can do if your former spouse refuses to try and support themselves, but that is not true. First, speak to an Orlando spousal support lawyer who can advise you of which option is best for your case. You may be able to petition the court for a modification, or you may be able to request a vocational evaluation to evaluate your ex’s ability to gain employment and earn their own income.
Call Our Spousal Support Lawyer in Orlando for a Free Consultation
If you are paying alimony and do not believe your former partner is trying to become financially independent, it is important to speak to an Orlando spousal support lawyer. At Anderson & Ferrin, our experienced attorneys have the resources necessary to help you petition the court or obtain a professional analysis to help you obtain the best outcome possible. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to request a free consultation.