What is Alimony?

Alimony is a court order directing one spouse to make payments to the other spouse during legal proceedings or after a divorce. It is intended to get the receiving party to a position of financial stability or independence after a divorce.

Standard for Alimony in Florida: Alimony in Florida is mainly based on one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. You can’t have one without the other. Below are other statutory factors the court determines in order to evaluate the amount and duration.
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) 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.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Types of Alimony in Florida:

Judges have great leeway in deciding how much alimony if any is to be granted.
1. Temporary Alimony: Granted during the  litigation process .
2. Permanent Alimony: Alimony is paid to the receiving spouse for life, or until they marry or cohabitate. This is usually awarded in long term marriages that are more than 17 years.
3. Rehabilitative Alimony: Alimony is paid to the receiving spouse in order to assist them to become self sufficient  by developing new skills or assisting them in acquiring  training, education, or professional experience. In order to be granted this type of alimony, a specific rehabilitative plan must show the court the pathway the spouse seeks in order to become rehabilitated or self sufficient.
4. Bridge the Gap Alimony: It is awarded to assist a party to make the transition from being married to being single. An award of bridge-the-gap Alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving Alimony. An award of bridge-the-gap Alimony shall not be modifiable in amount or duration.Usually awarded in short-term marriages,and  is awarded for a maximum of two years.
5. Durational Alimony: The purpose of durational alimony is to provide the party with economical assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of a short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for permanent support. The length of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.

If you are facing alimony questions, contact Jeannette Watkin, Esq. to represent you in your divorce proceedings. Call JWatkin Law. P.A., for a confidential consultation at (786) 272-6360, or contact us online.