Archive: January 2021

January 26, 2021

The Requirements of Permanent Alimony Under Florida Law

Alimony is that familiar term referring to the financial support granted to a former spouse in a divorce. Payments are made from one spouse to another indefinitely or until the receiving party gets married. 

In most states, permanent alimony can be granted in the event that the dissolution of a marriage results in one party being less financially capable than the other. In the State of Florida, on the other hand, the court will examine the spouse’s capacity to pay alimony and weigh it against the other spouse’s need for permanent support. 

Florida family laws allow many different types of alimony. Each case’s alimony terms can vary from the other in terms of duration, amount, and purpose. This can make litigation in a divorce case far more complex than usual. Much consideration is granted in awarding alimony, so it is important to have the skills of a good divorce law firm in your corner. 

The process of determination

There is no standard amount of money or time set for alimony. These will be determined on a case-to-case basis in a court of law. It is also fully possible for the former couple to settle out of court. 

As we have mentioned before, the court will consider if the party from whom alimony is being demanded can pay. Factors outlined in Florida divorce law 61.08 will also be used in this decision. Evidence not specifically listed in the statute can also be considered by the judge.

One important facet of the statute is that the alimony award cannot leave the payor with significantly less income than the recipient unless exceptional circumstances were found by the court.

The definition of need

The second most important consideration in determining alimony is “need.” This is not defined as the minimum basic living expenses, but the amount needed to match the standard of living sustained during the marriage. In court, it must be proved that a certain standard of living was achieved, then that the payor can provide this standard of living even beyond the marriage. 

The final requirement

In general, judges grant permanent alimony in cases where the marriage has lasted a long duration—17 years or more from the date of the marriage to the date of filing for divorce. This, however, is a presumed number. The court can determine this to be inappropriate given certain circumstances. 

There are cases when the terms of Florida Statute 61.08 are considered more important than this rule. In such cases, the party hoping to supersede this 17-year presumption must be able to provide sufficient and clear evidence. If enough evidence is provided, the length of the marriage won’t matter—whether it was of moderate duration (7–17 years) or shorter. 

Final thoughts

Family law is no less complex than any other aspect of the Florida legal system. Divorce often results in complicated legal proceedings and bitter conflict, but it is nevertheless important to equip yourselves with the skills of legal professionals. This can result in fairer and more equitable decisions from the court. 

If you’re looking for a Florida divorce lawyer, give us at Dorsey Law a call. We can provide you the aggressive and expert representation to achieve the goals you need. 

January 21, 2021

Providing for Your Special Needs Child After Separation

No matter the type of family, one thing is common across the board: parents work extraordinarily hard to raise their children in the best way possible. This is especially true for raising a special needs child, where partners face the same pressures of typical parenthood coupled with the challenges of increased medical and educational expenses and other needs. 

Separation via divorce or paternity action can also affect the arrangements of providing child support given the circumstances. Fla. Stat. 61.30 states the provision of avenues for parents to ensure the security of the child’s financial needs for the long term. By working with the best attorneys in Jacksonville, you can work to ensure that your child’s needs will be met despite the arrangement following the separation.

Divorce in Jacksonville

When dealing with divorce and being a parent to a child with special needs, you must discuss the full extent of your child’s physical and mental needs with an experienced attorney. This will ensure that the proper calculation and terms for child support are established by both parties. 

Different factors, such as the child’s age, may affect the provision of care provided to them after the parents have separated. If you’re confused with how to go about this, then it’s best to approach a reliable divorce attorney near you to clarify the situation.

Documentation of Special Needs

Providing your lawyer with pertinent information and documentation of your child’s special needs is crucial. This should include your child’s diagnosis and prognosis so that your attorney has a clear picture of what is required for a medical expert or physician to testify. Besides medical records, providing documents detailing therapy, school, and medical bills can help your legal counsel put forth a clear and concise argument. 

Most child support orders in Florida end when the child reaches eighteen, marries, passes away, or joins the military. However, judges can rule otherwise if significant evidence is presented in the case, allowing child support to continue well into adulthood—especially if the child is determined to remain dependent on their parents after the age of majority. If this is the case for your child, then having an experienced lawyer argue on your behalf is your best shot at being considered for exception!

Limitations of Child Support

Keep in mind that child support doesn’t include any uncovered medical expenses, which can include holistic treatments, over the counter medications, and co-payments for typically healthy children. For special needs children, such expenses can reach exorbitant amounts without coverage from child support. This is where it becomes financially challenging for parents, as these expenses can include required special visits, specialized medical equipment for home or school, private tuition fees, and specialized therapies or other treatments.

Understanding how these costs will affect you, especially in the wake of the divorce, should be discussed with your trusted family law attorney. They should be able to guide you through every step of the process. 


While parenting a special needs child comes with its unique challenges, adding the circumstances of parental separation can make it even more difficult. With so many technicalities in the legal separation alone, it can be daunting to settle into an arrangement that works for your former partner and, most importantly, your child. 

Working with an experienced family law attorney will allow you to reach an agreement in your child’s interest. Maintaining child support for their special needs is crucial, and securing it is possible with the best legal counsel in the state!

Whether it’s child custody in FL or providing for your special needs child after a divorce, many people can feel devastated and vulnerable. At Dorsey Law JAX, we provide our clients with the best legal advice from attorneys that will stand by their side through this difficult process. If you need an attorney in Jacksonville, reach out to us today!

January 12, 2021

Marital Assets and Divorce Law: Our Guide for Clients

Settlement of marital assets is one of the most contested issues for divorce cases because there may be valuable resources you can use for your financial security. However, you have to be careful with your spouse and in reaching an agreement. That is why you have to know more about divorce law and marital assets. 

This article will discuss questions commonly asked during a divorce regarding their assets. Take this as an opportunity to deter your standing after your divorce case as you negotiate different terms and conditions. You can also recognize this article as a starting point to better visualize your financial situation and social security, allowing you to be prepared for what’s to come after the divorce settlement. 

How Will The House Be Divided Equally in a Divorce? 

The home is one of the most commonly fought-for assets in a divorce due to its complexities. For instance, you may fall into a situation wherein your spouse will try to acquire it as they push a claim stipulating that they paid for a large sum of the mortgage, leading you to be homeless. Fortunately, divorce cases often use a partition claim, enabling the equal division through an appraisal and buy out or sale of the property. 

Usually, you can expect the marital settlement for a house in the form of money—half goes to you, the other to your spouse. It may mean the property may need to be sold first. However, be careful if your bank is involved in your divorce case, as it may further complicate the settlement. Consult with your divorce lawyer to help you make the best decisions.  

Can I Lose My Assets During My Divorce Case? 

It’s normal to feel worried about your personal assets, especially those with sentimental value since your spouse can claim them during the divorce. Marital asset identification should be a straightforward procedure that lets you and your spouse each receive an equitable distribution. Do always be prepared for any situation as your case may be a high-asset divorce with varying ownership complexities. 

As such, you must have a professional legal team supporting you and helping you safeguard all your personal assets and appeal for any fair settlements. This way, you can avoid conflicts that will only prolong the agony of your case. It is important to know the law. For instance, divorce law in Florida may identify separate properties as marital within special terms. You can always refer to your attorney for more information regarding this.

Can I Use the Prenuptial Agreement? Is it More Beneficial? 

If you and your spouse signed a premarital agreement or prenup, there might be specific terms and conditions, such as the distribution of debts and assets, that can guide you through your divorce case. This document is more favorable than going through the traditional distribution of assets wherein a judge will state how everything will be allocated. 

If you have a prenup, you can make revisions suitable to your current situation. However, it’s best to oversee this with your attorney to get the best possible outcome while meeting legal obligations. 


Handling the marital assets with your divorce case can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure if you are going about it correctly. Fortunately, you now have a better understanding of what to expect and what you need. You just need to work with your legal team, stay committed to the facts, and comply accordingly. Seek professional legal counsel today! 

Are you looking for the best divorce lawyers in Jacksonville? Consult with us today at The Dorsey Law Firm. We can provide you with the best recommendations to help you manage your marital assets and other related concerns. Settle your divorce with us and learn more about the process through our legal resources

January 4, 2021

Dealing with Divorce – What Are The 5 Types of Alimony?

It’s not uncommon for married couples to reach a decisive moment in their partnership where one or both parties are no longer happy with the other. They can formally file for divorce, which requires a rigorous process requiring several legal processes. Dealing with divorce comes with many caveats, one of which is the requirement to pay alimony to your spouses. In Florida law, there have been many changes in how people preparing for divorce can qualify for a specific form of alimony.

Understanding the different types of alimony

Like property and gun laws, each state has its own set of rules regarding divorce proceedings and alimony. Florida Statute Section 61.08 states that there are different classifications of alimony in Florida. This allows divorcees to qualify under a specific category depending on their eligibility to their guidelines and restrictions.

Before you file for a divorce in Florida, here are five major types of alimony you should know about:

1. Permanent alimony

It’s unlikely for the Court in Florida to grant permanent alimony. It usually only applies to spouses involved in long marriages who also have not had any opportunities to receive education or employment skills. This scenario is typically present in households where a spouse sacrifices a personal career to care for the family.

Another case where the judge can grant permanent alimony is if the requesting spouse requires extensive medical care and is unable to seek employment. Although it’s more common to long marriages, people in short-term marriages can be eligible for permanent alimony if they meet the appropriate conditions.

2. Rehabilitative alimony

It’s a specific form of alimony that aims to assist a spouse in being self-sufficient. A spouse can request this if the divorce places them in a disadvantageous financial position. However, you must present a clear rehabilitative plan if you want the Court to grant you this provision. Your plan must either develop the spouse’s educational attainment or sponsor technical and other skills to achieve employment. Keep in mind that non-compliance with the presented plan during the payment period of the alimony will lead to modifications or even cancellation of the other spouse’s dues.

3. Bridge-the-Gap alimony

A spouse will qualify for bridge-the-gap alimony if they have a particular need for financial assistance in the short-term. A spouse must present evidence to support that they’ll require financial aid to purchase, such as purchasing a new home or paying for utilities. This form of alimony typically lasts only under two years. Additionally, once the court reaches a verdict, the spouse can no longer request a modification of the alimony’s amount or duration.

4. Durational alimony

People often get confused with durational alimony since it applies to short and moderate-term marriages. It’s an alternative to permanent alimony, but will only last as long as the length of the marriage. However, there are cases when the Court can modify or terminate it based on substantial circumstances.

5. Temporary alimony

In contrast to permanent alimony, temporary alimony only offers spousal support during and not after divorce proceedings. Additionally, the court can award this to a spouse even if they aren’t qualified for the previous four types after the conclusion of their case.


Understanding what kind of alimony you’ll have to pay or receive from the Court is just the first step in a long list of formal hearings. Since you need to protect your assets and your right as a parent to your children, it’s necessary to hire an experienced lawyer to assist you.

At Dorsey Law Firm, our 35 years of experience in family law in Jacksonville makes us the best partners to have during your divorce hearings. We work with our clients to find the best possible solution for their legal concerns. Contact us today so our legal experts can give you the best legal defense!

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