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Will taking a new job impact your alimony payment?

One of the most important aspects of any divorce is the shifts in financial standing that will take place as spouses move from married to single. In fact, aside from issues of child custody, the financial side of divorce is the top concern for most Florida residents. For spouses who expect to receive alimony and/or child support as part of their settlement, understanding how those payments are calculated is a priority and can also be a challenge.

For example, many divorcing spouses are concerned that they might negatively impact their alimony structure if they take a new job. This can leave a spouse facing what seems like a difficult decision. They can choose to jump back into the workforce or accept a more lucrative position, or try to collect the highest possible spousal and child support payments.

This approach, however, is not the best way to frame the issue. In the months and years following a divorce, an individual who was previously financially dependent on a marital partner must assume responsibility for his or her own financial security. While alimony can certainly help a person transition from married to single, lifetime or "permanent" alimony awards are largely a thing of the past. In today's divorce law, spousal support is usually only structured to last a relatively short period of time, after which the recipient is expected to be back on his or her feet.

In most cases, divorcing spouses in Florida who are given an opportunity to begin a new job should seriously consider doing so. Holding off for the sole purpose of trying to gain a higher amount of child support or alimony is rarely a wise financial move. While the bottom line of such payments could shift a bit when there is a significant increase in the supported spouse's income, that change is not sizable enough to offset all of the positive outcomes associated with earning one's own income.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Top 6 Reasons You Should Take the Job Despite Your Divorce", Morghan Leia Richardson, Aug. 5, 2015

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