Alimony, sometimes referred to as “Spousal Support”, is the financial support a person is ordered by a court to give to their spouse during separation or following a divorce. In the State of Florida, Alimony is calculated based upon one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. This means that the courts will first determine if the spouse requesting alimony has a need for it, and then they will determine if the other spouse has the ability to satisfy, all or part, of that need. There is no set formula that judges use when determining alimony. This can make determining alimony in Florida tricky.
Florida Statute 61.08 lays out factors that a judge will consider when establishing alimony during a divorce:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of the other party.
- The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Essentially, the judge can look at anything they deem necessary to reach a fair alimony determination during a divorce case. Florida provides five types of alimony: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce and life, courts will use the above listed factors to determine which type of alimony is the best for your or your spouse and the number for that support. Judges have broad discretion when deciding the type (or types), duration, and amount of alimony that is appropriate for your case.
Types of Alimony In Florida
Temporary Alimony In Florida: Alimony that is only to be paid during divorce proceedings and a bit following thereafter. This is to allow the receiving spouse to get accustomed to the new level of income moving forward.
Bridge-The-Gap Alimony In Florida: Similarly to temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony assists a receiving party for no longer than two years. There must be clear needs of the receiving party.
Rehabilitative Alimony In Florida: Intended to provide a party with the fixed income from the higher paying spouse for a fixed period of time. It’s primarily for assisting a former spouse as they work to find a job or complete their education.
Durational Alimony In Florida: Durational alimony is set for a pre-determined amount of time and cannot exceed the length of the marriage. So if a couple were married for 17 years, the receiving former spouse could only receive payments for 17 years.
Permanent Alimony In Florida: Typically granted in moderate to long-term marriages, permanent alimony will continue until death or remarriage.
Have questions about alimony in Florida? Contact the Yaffa Family Law Group today and let our legal experts assist you!