In a Florida divorce proceeding, alimony payments may be granted to either spouse. Payments could be temporary or permanent, and they may consist of period payments, a lump sum payment or a combination of both. In order to award alimony, the court will consider an ex-spouse’s ability to supply it and whether the individual receiving alimony actually needs it.
A court will take into account factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, financial resources of each spouse and the non-financial contributions to the marriage to determine alimony. Marriage lengths are generally broken down into durations of less than seven years, seven to 17 years and more than 17 years.
When an individual is transitioning to single life after a marriage, temporary alimony may be awarded to bridge this gap. It is generally for a period of two years or less. Rehabilitative alimony is slightly different in that it is designed to help support a spouse while he or she develops skills to become financially self-sufficient over a defined period of time.
Permanent alimony could be awarded by a court after long-duration marriages when a spouse is unable to financially provide an equivalent standard of living experienced during the marriage. In certain cases, it may also be granted for marriages of a shorter duration. Except for unusual circumstances, the amount of the award must be determined in such a way that the payer is not left with significantly less net income than that of the recipient’s income.
Determining spousal support in Florida could be complicated. Anyone facing dissolution of a marriage may want to enlist the services of an attorney in order to help them understand the law and to represent them in proceedings if they so choose.
Source: Online Sunshine, “The 2014 Florida Statutes“, August 13, 2014