Alimony, also known as spousal support, is the payment of money from one ex-spouse to the other after divorce. For a person seeking support from their former spouse, specific kinds of evidence will strengthen their case that alimony would be appropriate under Florida law. Mainly, Florida statute directs – albeit broadly – what evidence is relevant to a judge analyzing whether to order spousal support.
Divorcing parties may be able to negotiate a marital settlement agreement that sets out whether one of them will pay alimony to the other, how much it will be, how often will it be paid and when will it terminate, if at all.
If they do not come to agreement, the judge in the divorce must take up the question and consider the relevant evidence the parties submit. The strength or weakness of the evidence, however, may also influence the outcome of the negotiations, so it is smart to begin to develop it early on.
The Florida alimony statute says that the court in deciding alimony issues may consider adultery on the part of either spouse. That a spouse has engaged in such misconduct may be well established or admitted, but if not, the other spouse’s attorney can ask them about it in court or submit other evidence of it.
Evidence that the spouse that committed adultery spent significant money on the third party may show an increased need for alimony if marital assets were depleted, although the statute does not require any proof of economic impact from adultery – just that it happened.
In part 2 of this post, we will get into economic and other factors relevant to spousal support in Florida and that drive the development of evidence in a divorce proceeding.