What Factors Determine the Type and Amount of Alimony in Florida?

FamilyDivorce

  • Author Eric Cheshire
  • Published November 11, 2019
  • Word count 564

In most instances when a marriage is dissolved in Florida, the factors in determining alimony for a spouse becomes a significant part of divorce proceedings. Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance is money paid by one spouse for the support of the other spouse during and after a divorce.

The initial consideration when settling a spouse’s alimony obligation is the determination of the ability to pay alimony. The court will examine the spouse’s gross income. Then, the court will reduce it by deducting any and all mandatory deductions in order to determine the final net income of the spouse.

At this point, the judge may look at various factors to determine the type and amount of alimony awarded. An alimony award is based on many considerations and circumstances.

Types of Alimony in Florida

In the State of Florida, types of alimony include:

  • Bridge the Gap Alimony

  • Durational Alimony

  • Permanent Alimony

  • Bridge the Gap Alimony

  • Rehabilitative Alimony

  • Temporary Alimony

It is important to note that these various types of alimony may be awarded separately or in conjunction with another. This depends on the specific circumstances involved in the divorce case.

How Is Alimony Determined in Florida?

State of Florida Statute 61.08 outlines factors that must be taken into consideration by Florida family court judges in determining how much alimony may be awarded. These factors include:

  • Standard of living established during the marriage;

  • Duration of the marriage;

  • Age of each party;

  • Physical and emotional condition of each party;

  • Financial resources of each party. This includes the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each;

  • Earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of each party, and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment;

  • Contribution of each party to the marriage. This includes, but is not limited to services rendered in homemaking, child care, education and career building;

  • Responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common;

  • 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. This includes income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.

Ultimately, the court has discretion to consider these factors, as well as any other factors to do equity and justice between the spouses. That is why alimony is the most complex and unpredictable part of the divorce process.

Of all listed factors, duration of the marriage is one of the most important. The longer the union, the greater the likelihood of alimony.

How Is Alimony Calculated?

In Florida, a standard alimony calculation is not set by law and there are no specifications or standards for award amounts. You and your divorce attorney can prepare for many considered factors since most are matters of record.

Focus your energy and efforts on your side of the case and on the factors you feel should be considered in the process. This is especially important since the financial outcome may be influenced by your efforts in proving your case.

Finally, it is worth noting that once periodic or permanent alimony is granted, the court has the right to modify the award amount in the present and in the future.

Eric Cheshire is a West Palm Beach family law attorney. He represents men, women and families in family law matters. These matters include divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, paternity and domestic violence. https://cheshirefamilylaw.com/

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