Determining who gets alimony in Florida

After a Florida divorce, a judge may award alimony to either party if it determined that it is needed. The alimony may be provided on a permanent basis or for a duration of time as determined by the court. Financial assistance may be used to help one spouse get on his or her feet or help him or her make it through a financial gap. Those who are granted bridge-the-gap alimony may not receive payments for more than two years.

Payments may be made in a single lump sum or over a longer period of time. To determine if an individual may need alimony, the court will look at a variety of factors. For instance, it will take into consideration the length of the marriage as well as the standard of living established during the marriage. A court will also look at the physical and mental health of a party as well as the ability to make money in the future.

If one spouse is ordered to pay alimony, the court shall not leave that individual with less net income than the spouse receiving payments. However, this guideline may not be enforced if there are exceptional circumstances that led to the order being made.

An individual who is looking for alimony may wish to talk to a family law attorney as to how to do so. Those who want or need alimony may need to prove that there is a specific need for the money. A need may exist if an individual is the primary caregiver to a child or needs money for school or job training. Alimony may also be granted to help a spouse have the same standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage.

Source: 2014 Florida Statutes, "Section 61.08 Alimony", accessed on Jan. 28, 2015

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