Florida residents who are contemplating divorce may be interested in the way alimony is decided. The first determination the court considers is whether or not one spouse needs alimony and if the other spouse is financially able to pay it. In determining the amount of alimony, the court has many variable to consider. The length of the marriage and the contribution of each spouse is taken into consideration including child rearing, and the age and health of both spouses. Marriages of less than seven years are considered to be short-term marriages in Florida, while long-term ones exceed 17 years.
If one spouse enhanced the other’s career by curtailing their own time in the workforce to take care of home-related duties, the court will use that information. Two types of alimony allow a spouse to readjust to life on their own. One bridges the gap between married and single status while the other, rehabilitative alimony, allows a spouse to retrain or seek education crucial to finding employment.
Marital and separate assets and their distribution are important to determine if one spouse is able to support themselves alone. Durational alimony provides support for a specified time period, while permanent alimony provides a spouse with support if they are unable to provide it themselves.
The amount, duration and type of alimony is based on each marriage’s specific set of circumstances. Although many divorcing couples are able to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement that covers spousal support as well as other items such as property division, the topic is contentious enough that some are unable to agree. A divorce attorney will work with a client to determine the best way to proceed.
Source: Online Sunshine, “The 2014 Florida Statutes“, September 15, 2014