December 2, 2023

Experiencing a divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging, particularly for a spouse who is not employed. If you are divorcing an unemployed spouse in Florida, you may be wondering about your rights and what you are legally entitled to. Issues like alimony, child support, and division of marital property are common concerns for a non-working spouse during divorce proceedings.

This article will examine Florida divorce laws regarding the rights of a non-working or lower-earning spouse. We’ll look at what a non-working spouse may be entitled to in terms of spousal support, child support, and equitable distribution of marital assets. Understanding your legal rights is crucial to ensuring you receive fair treatment during your Florida divorce case.

What is a Non-Working Spouse in the Context of Divorce?

A non-working spouse, often referred to as a homemaker or a stay-at-home parent, is a spouse who doesn’t work outside the home. This spouse may be responsible for raising children, maintaining the home, and other non-income-generating tasks. In the event of a divorce, the non-working spouse may be entitled to certain financial support from the working spouse to help maintain their standard of living.

How Does Florida Law Treat Non-Working Spouses in Divorce?

Florida is considered an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to divorce. This implies that marital assets and debts are distributed equitably between the spouses. The court considers factors like the length of the marriage and the contributions of each spouse. The goal is to distribute marital assets equitably.

So, what does this mean for a non-working spouse going through a divorce in Florida? In most cases, a non-working or lower-earning spouse is still entitled to a fair share of marital property acquired during the marriage. This includes the marital home, vehicles, investment accounts, and other assets. The non-working spouse may be granted 50% or more of the marital assets.

What Rights Does a Non-Working Spouse Have in a Divorce?

In the context of a divorce, a non-working spouse has the same legal rights as a working spouse. Under Florida law, the court may consider the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, and each spouse’s financial resources and contributions to the marriage when determining what each spouse is entitled to. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can provide insight into how these factors might influence a particular case.

The non-working spouse is entitled to a fair share of the marital property, which includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage. Furthermore, the non-working spouse may be entitled to spousal support or alimony, which can help the non-working spouse maintain their living standard.

Is a Non-Working Spouse Entitled to Alimony in Florida?

In addition to a share of marital property, a non-working spouse may be entitled to alimony or spousal support. Spousal support aims to help the lower-earning or non-working spouse maintain their standard of living after divorce.

The court considers factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and education levels, and contributions to the marriage. Alimony aims to prevent an unfair economic impact on spouses who do not work outside the home or have lower earnings.

The amount and duration of spousal support varies case by case. For long-term marriages, permanent alimony may be awarded. Alimony is often temporary for shorter marriages to help the spouse transition financially. Spousal support typically ends when the receiving spouse remarries or passes away.

Does a Non-Working Spouse Have a Right to Child Support?

If minor children result from the marriage, the non-working spouse typically has a right to receive child support payments from the higher-earning spouse. Florida utilizes child support guidelines and worksheets to calculate standard child support amounts based on factors like each parent’s income.

Most of the time, the spouse that the children reside with is considered the primary residential parent and custodian. Even if this parent is unemployed or earns less, they are still entitled to adequate child support from the other parent to help cover expenses like housing, food, clothing, education, healthcare, and childcare.

How to Navigate Divorce as a Non-Working Spouse with Experienced Divorce Lawyers

Going through divorce as a non-working or lower-earning spouse involves complex financial and legal matters. To safeguard your rights in accordance with Florida law, it is advisable to seek advice from a seasoned divorce lawyer. A lawyer can provide legal advice regarding spousal support, child support, and the fair division of marital property. They can also represent you in negotiations and divorce court proceedings.

With the help of a qualified divorce lawyer, a non-working spouse can better understand their options and legal entitlements in a divorce. You deserve experienced legal guidance to help you fight for your rights and gain the best possible outcome during this challenging time. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a divorce law firm like Vollrath Law which has a proven record of helping clients in situations like yours.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What if one spouse doesn’t want to pay spousal support or alimony?

A: Even if one spouse doesn’t want to pay, the court may still order spousal support or alimony if the other spouse is entitled to it under Florida law. The court will consider factors like income levels, needs, and the standard of living during the marriage.

Q: Can a spouse still be entitled to alimony if they were unfaithful during the marriage?

A: Yes, a spouse may still be entitled to spousal support even if they were unfaithful. The court is focused on the financial need for alimony, not the reasons for divorce. However, infidelity may impact the amount awarded.

Q: How does the court determine the rights of a non-working spouse in a divorce?

A: The court considers the divorce laws in Florida, including factors like length of marriage, contributions to marital property, income levels, and ability to be self-supporting. The goal is an equitable outcome.

Q: Can a divorce impact the legal rights of a non-working spouse?

A: Yes, divorce may significantly impact legal rights related to finances, property division, spousal support, and child-related matters. Consulting a lawyer helps protect your rights.

Q: Can a non-working spouse be granted a portion of the marital property?

A: A non-working spouse is generally entitled to a portion of the marital property, including all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage.