Mother and son receiving alimony money

Alimony Attorney

Ending a marriage can be a stressful process. Even if it goes smoothly, you may still need an attorney to help you establish fair alimony.

As both alimony and divorce lawyers, Debra J. Sutton and Matthew J. Kovschak can fight for you throughout the legal challenges of divorce.

If you want to work with a compassionate team motivated to help you, contact Sutton Law Firm in Lakeland, FL.

What Is Alimony?


Essentially, alimony is a regular monthly payment allocated to a spouse after a marriage ends. Alimony can serve a number of purposes, such as providing income to make up for the money a spouse could have earned in marriage. It can also ensure that a spouse's standard of living does not drop dramatically after a divorce.

I wasn't working during my marriage. Am I eligible?

Workers shaking hands
Many spouses worry that because they did not work during some or all of their marriage, they are not eligible for alimony. There are many important ways to contribute to a household besides the finances, such as being a homemaker or raising children. Alimony can provide for lost earnings, time spent away from your job field, and decreased employability. 

The Benefits of Selecting Sutton Law Firm For Your Spousal Support Case

Achieve Peace of Mind

As a family law practice, our attorneys know how important spousal support can be for your daily needs.

After you and your spouse divorce, you shouldn't have to stress about your financial needs.

Our Lakeland alimony lawyers can ensure that both parties reach a fair agreement.

Individualized Support

No two cases are the same.

From assets to lost earnings, your spousal support suit must cover your unique needs and circumstances.

Our attorneys will tailor your representation to your specific requirements. That way, we can seek an outcome most suitable for your life after divorce.

Distinguished Lawyers

Our lawyers stand out with their awards and achievements. Ms. Sutton is Board-Certified in Marital and Family Law–an accomplishment less than 1% of Florida lawyers have. She has also worked at Florida Southern College as an Adjunct Professor of Judicial Process. Additionally, Mr. Kovschak has worked for the Florida Bar, where he was in the Law Management section.

Choose a Law Firm That Can Help You With Multiple Areas of Family Law

Sutton Law Firm works with all types of family law cases, including child custody, child supportdivorce, alimony, and more.

Our attorneys can provide peace of mind during your spousal support case. Not only can we fight for you now, but we can continue to fight for you throughout the divorce process.

Our legal team and lawyers, Ms. Sutton and Mr. Kovschak, can fight for fair spousal support payments. To begin, contact our Lakeland, FL, family law practice or call

(863) 533-8912

Ms. Sutton and Mr. Kovschak
You can rely on our Lakeland practice for assistance with child custody and other family law matters.

"Above and beyond." Here's What Our Lakeland, FL, Clients Have to Say


Vicki Watson


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I have hired Ms. Sutton twice and both times she has gone above and beyond. She is professional but also caring. More then once she called me to calm my anxiety about my case. Her professionalism and knowledge of the law in the courtroom made me glad she was my lawyer. Hopefully I never need a lawyer again, but if I do, I will hire Ms. Sutton.

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Tammi Griswold


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Going through a divorce was one of the most difficult times in my life. A frind of my family referred me to Debra Sutton. After meeting with Ms. Sutton I felt that there was hope for a positive change in the mist of fear. Debra Sutton put so much time into my case by carefully walking, fighting vigorously and inspiring me to reach for the stars. I can honestly say that Debra Sutton and her team makes me feel a little safer in this big crazy world.

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Sutton Law Firm has been helping people like you receive fair alimony payments since 1990.

​Sutton Law Firm Will Fight for You

Family law can be one of the hardest areas to navigate. Fortunately, you have an ally in the fight for spousal support: Sutton Law Firm. To put you at ease, listen to some of our past Lakeland clients talk about their experience with our dedicated attorneys.

If I Receive Property in the Divorce, Am I Still Eligible for Alimony?

Yes, you may be, depending on factors like income and length of the marriage.

As a spouse, you are entitled to half of the divided property assets in Florida. Receiving the divided assets does not disqualify you from receiving alimony.

Couple signing separation papers

Are Alimony and Child Support the Same Thing?

No, alimony and child support are two entirely different forms of legal financial support. They may both be requested from a spouse at the same time, but they serve two different needs.

Child support covers the care, housing, education, and other relevant costs of a child or children. It ends after a child has turned 18, though it may be extended to age 19 if a child is still in high school or has further needs.

Typically, it also depends on child custody. Finally, you do not have to have gone through a divorce to request child support.

Alimony, on the other hand, is a form of spousal support. It is designed to provide financial resources to a spouse after a divorce. Additionally, you do not need to have children with a spouse in order to receive alimony.

Alimony reform may impact your alimony request.

Alimony Reform What You Need to Know

Florida no longer has permanent alimony. Instead, it has bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational alimony. Each will have its own unique limitations.

Durational alimony, for instance, is not applicable unless both parties have been married for three years or longer before their divorce. Exceptions may apply, like certain income limits and cases when a spouse acts as the only caregiver for a common child with a disability. 

Other changes, like a difference in alimony after retirement, become effective July 1, 2022.

Though alimony reform may sound confusing, you're not alone in your legal journey. Our Lakeland lawyers can guide you through every step of the process with kindness and transparency.

Mother and child with disability holding hands and heads touching

"You won’t be disappointed." Hear From Our Lakeland, FL, Clients


David Smith


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Recently necessity required yet again I reach out to Ms. Sutton for legal matters. Debra has handled my legal representation for family matters for over 13 years. Never has she waivered from anything but professional and effective legal representation. She will remain your advocate throughout any process from start to finish and continue to provide prompt service after the case is completed. If you need an attorney who will be YOUR advocate during stressful times, this is the one. You won’t be disappointed.

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I have used many times and very happy with. I have referred to other people that also been happy with also.

Barbie at front desk very helpful. Debra and Matt are very thorough in putting documents together.

Debra does not have lose in her vocabulary.

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Does an Alimony Request Need to Go to Court?

No, it does not. If you and your former spouse are both open to mediation, then you determine alimony, asset distribution, child support, and more using this method.

During mediation, you and your spouse will sit down with a mediator and in some cases, your individual lawyers. Together, you will collaboratively work together to resolve important legal issues surrounding the dissolution of your marriage, like alimony and custody.

It's entirely possible that both parties can come to an acceptable conclusion then and there. That way, you and your spouse can avoid the stress and costs of going to court. Of course, in some cases, mediation may not be an option.

If you need someone to fight for your legal and financial rights in court, you can count on our Lakeland divorce lawyers to stand in your corner.

Debra J. Sutton

Sutton Law Firm

Debra J. Sutton is an attorney who is board-certified in both appellate practice and marital and family law by the Florida Bar. At the Sutton Law Firm, with offices in Bartow, Lakeland, and St. Petersburg, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Kovschak, and their team provide individualized, compassionate, and private legal services. Our popular practice areas include:

You can request a consultation with our board-certified attorney right now by filling out our online form or calling (863) 533-8912.

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