The award of alimony is established by Florida Statute and case law. The courts consider several factors when deciding to award alimony.
The factors the courts consider include the following:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- The physical and emotional condition of each spouse
- The couple’s available sources of income
- The need for the spouse seeking alimony to attend additional education or career training to obtain appropriate employment
- The contributions that each spouse has made to the marriage
- The marital standard of living
- The tax consequences of the alimony reward
- The responsibilities each spouse will have for any minor children of the marriage
Florida alimony law provides for the following types:
- Temporary – This alimony is awarded only during the divorce process and finishes when the divorce is finalized.
- Bridge-the-gap – These payments are awarded for a short duration to assist one spouse as they transition from the marriage. This alimony is meant to cover short-term needs, is non-modifiable, and cannot exceed two years in duration.
- Rehabilitative – This financial support, much like bridge-the-gap, assists the payee spouse as they regain their ability to support themselves. However, the amount and duration is typically more involved than bridge-the-gap alimony. The spouse seeking these payments need to provide the details of their self-support retraining plan, including cost, duration, and how the plan will lead to the final goal of regaining self-sufficiency.
- Durational – This form of spousal support provides the payee with financial assistance for a period of time post divorce. The amount of alimony is highly modifiable with a proven change in circumstances for either spouse. However, the length of time the payer must pay alimony cannot be modified except in extreme circumstances.
- Permanent – This form of alimony provides support until either the remarriage of the payee or the death of either ex spouse. These payments are always modifiable with a proven and significant change in circumstances for either party.
- Lump-Sum – In a Lump-Sum situation, the alimony is paid as a specific amount at one time or in installments. This type is ordered only under specific circumstances.
Can Alimony be modified after it is established?
Different factors can change long term or permanent alimony, such as if the spouse receiving the alimony has obtained increased income or become involved in a supportive relationship.
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