Alimony is often an element of the divorce process. The state of Florida determines how alimony is calculated based on need and ability to pay.

What is Alimony?
Alimony is when one spouse is court-ordered to pay another spouse a specific amount of money for a certain amount of time. Alimony usually commences after the divorce is final. The idea is that if one party worked while the other maintained the home, that person would require ongoing funds to maintain a similar lifestyle after divorce. In some cases, it may be more difficult for one spouse to make ends meet after the divorce, and they may request alimony payments from their spouse.

The Types of Alimony
Florida allows for five different types of alimony: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent. Many couples agree on the terms of alimony, but when they do not, a judge will step in and decide for them.

Temporary alimony provides income for the spouse in need during the divorce.
Bridge-the-Gap alimony provides income during the transition from a married person to a single.
Rehabilitative alimony is when one spouse does not make enough to support themselves, and this income helps them as they devise a plan to fix the problem.
Durational alimony offers financial aid to one spouse for a specific agreed-upon length of time. After that, it will end.
Permanent alimony is in place until either party dies or remarries and it is intended to provide for the under-funded spouse indefinitely.

How is Alimony Calculated in Florida?
When determining whether or not to allow alimony, the court will base its decision on many things like the age and health of both spouses. They also look at the standards of living, how long you have been married, the marital assets, the employment prospects of each spouse, and each partner’s role in the marriage and household. Taxes and other financial obligations are also factored in.

After looking at these items, a court judge in Florida will use the following calculation to determine alimony awards.

Typically, it will be 30% of the payer’s gross annual income, minus 20% of the payee’s gross annual income. After this figure is calculated, the judge must decide if the payor has sufficient ability to pay and the payee actually needs alimony.

A quick example would:
Spouse #1 (payor)’s gross annual income is $250,000.
30% of that is $75,000.
Spouse #2 (payee)’s gross annual income is $35,000.
20% of that is $7,000.
Based on this information, the calculated alimony would be $68,0000/year.
One caveat, however, is that the payee’s net income figure (alimony + other income) cannot exceed 40% of the gross income of both parties combined.

Alimony Guidance
If you have questions or concerns surrounding alimony for your divorce, it’s a good idea to get the help and support of a trusted divorce attorney like the team at Yaffa Family Law Group. Our seasoned experts can navigate the complexities of alimony and help ensure that you get what you need to live your best life.

 

About the Author

Doreen Yaffa, Board Certified Divorce Attorney Founder and Managing Partner of Yaffa Family Law Group. She is one of a handful of divorce attorneys in South Florida who is board certified in Marital and Family Law. Doreen Yaffa earned her board certification in 2001 and has remained a member of The Florida Bar in excellent standing throughout her career.