Alimony is the money that one spouse pays the other following a divorce. There are various factors that determine the amount of alimony that will be awarded. Understanding how these factors come into play will help you have more realistic expectations. In this article Jacksonville divorce attorney Patricia Parker explains how alimony is calculated in the state of Florida:
Factors the Judge Will Consider
In Florida, alimony is not automatically awarded in a divorce. Instead, judges make their decisions and calculations regarding alimony with careful consideration. While there is no set formula, there are some specific factors that will be considered.
- Marital standard of living
- Duration of marriage
- Age of each spouse
- Each spouse’s role in the marriage
- General health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including child care, homemaking, education and helping the other spouse build his or her career
- Any tax consequences of the alimony award
- Childcare responsibilities of each spouse after the divorce
The guiding principle is that alimony will be based on one spouse’s need for support and the other’s ability to pay. As any Jacksonville divorce attorney will tell you, the court will not order alimony unless it’s the most appropriate option.
Duration of Marriage
The length of the marriage is one of the main factors in awarding permanent alimony. In the state of Florida, a short-term marriage is one that lasted fewer than 7 years. A moderate-term marriage is one that lasted between 7 and 17 years. A long-term marriage is one that lasted over 17 years. Long-term marriages generally lead to permanent alimony.
Types of Alimony in Florida
There are several different types of alimony in Florida:
- Temporary or Bridge the Gap: Granted to be paid by a divorced person by the other spouse temporarily, for a set amount of time.
- Rehabilitative: Awarded to allow an unemployed spouse to develop a career plan and improve his or her lifestyle. It may include living and educational expenses.
- Durational: Granted when permanent alimony is deemed unsuitable. It offers one spouse financial assistance for a set period of time.
- Permanent: Awarded to uphold the lifestyle necessities created by the marriage.
These different types of alimony may be awarded in any combination as the Judge deems suitable under the circumstances. Alimony payments may be temporary or permanent. They may be made in regular payments, or sometimes in one lump sum.
A divorcing couple may also reach an agreement regarding alimony rather than leaving it up to the court to decide. It’s always best to work with your Jacksonville divorce attorney to ensure you are making the best decision in your situation.
Consult With Your Jacksonville Divorce Attorney
If you’re facing a divorce and are concerned about your financial future, be sure to get the legal expertise you need. Jacksonville divorce attorney Patricia Parker has years of experience in family law and has helped her clients get the alimony they’re entitled to. Call 904-479-5455.