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Alimony is court-ordered support paid by one spouse to the other for a period of time following a divorce.

Alimony is the court-ordered payment of support from a spouse who has the ability to pay to a spouse in need of support for a period of time. Only people who are divorcing or are divorced can ask for and receive alimony.

The court may grant alimony to either party which alimony may be:

  • bridge the gap
  • rehabilitative
  • durational
  • permanent

You must let your spousal support lawyer know if there is an issue about adultery as the court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.

Determining Spousal Support

There is no spousal support calculator. In determining whether to award alimony or spousal support, the court must decide whether your spousal support lawyer has established an actual need for alimony or maintenance, and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or spousal maintenance. Florida divorce laws compel the court to consider the following elements:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  • The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
  • The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
  • The 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, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Factors that will Impact Alimony

To the extent necessary to protect an award of spousal support, the court may order any party who is ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such alimony award with any other assets which may be suitable for that purpose.

How long have you been married?

  • Less than 7 years = short term marriage
  • 7 years but less than 17 years = moderate term marriage
  • 17 years or greater = long term marriage

The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.