Effective July 1, 2010, Florida’s alimony statute was amended. In any divorce proceeding in Florida, the court may grant alimony to either the husband or the wife. Awarding alimony in Florida is at the discretion of the court.
The court will consider two factors; need and the ability to pay. A court is required to make a findings of fact relative to various factors when determining need and ability to pay.
Maintaining a particular standard of living used to be a main consideration. However, in the current economic downturn, many divorcing couples simply cannot come close to maintaining a standard of living they enjoyed as an in-tact family.
Unlike child support, there are no alimony guidelines in Florida. Rather, the court will consider a statutory list of factors when determining the appropriate amount of alimony.
Does the Length of the Marriage Make a Difference for alimony in Florida?
Yes. For purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and a long-term marriage is one of 17 years or longer.
If you are going to argue that permanent alimony is appropriate, there are different standards of proof required based upon the length of the marriage.
For example, it is increasingly more difficult to prove that permanent alimony is appropriate for marriages of short duration. In fact, Florida requires written findings of exceptional circumstances to award permanent alimony in a case with a short-term marriage.
How Does the Court Determine the Length of my Marriage?
The length of your marriage is calculated from the date of your marriage until the date of the filing of an action for a dissolution of marriage.
Are There Different Types of Alimony in Florida?
Yes. A court will consider various factors when deciding the proper type and amount of alimony. Some of those factors are 1) the duration of the marriage, 2) the financial resources of each party, and 3) contribution of each party to the marriage. Alimony awards may be one or more of the following:
Bridge The Gap
Designed to help one party transition from married life to single life. This type of alimony is for short-term needs and the payments will not extend beyond two years.
Used to assist either a husband or wife in establishing the ability to be self- supporting. You are required to submit a detailed rehabilitative plan to the court if you are requesting rehabilitative alimony.
Awarded when permanent periodic is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide economic assistance to one party for a set period of time. It can be awarded for short, medium, or long-term marriages. If your marriage is considered long-term and there is no ongoing need for permanent support, then durational alimony might be awarded.
May be awarded to meet those needs and necessities of life that were established during the marriage for the party who is financially unable to meet those needs and necessities following a divorce. A court awarding permanent alimony must include a finding that “no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties.”
Effective July 1, 2011, any court award of alimony cannot leave the person having to pay the alimony with significantly less net income than the net income of the person receiving the alimony, unless there are written findings of exceptional circumstances.
When Will The Court Address Alimony?
After equitable distribution issues have been addressed and resolved.
Choose the Best Divorce Attorney for you
Spousal support or alimony in Florida can be a complex and highly contested issue. Choosing a divorce lawyer who will listen to your needs and interests and zealously negotiate for you is critical.
Since 9 out of 10 divorce cases never reach trial, it is important to choose a lawyer who is trained and skilled at resolving conflicts using negotiation, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods.
At the law offices of Grossman & Grossman, our divorce lawyers have advanced Master of Laws degrees in dispute resolution from the top ranked program in the United States. They also have special training in collaborative divorce.
…to to speak with a divorce lawyer from the Winter Garden Family Law office of Grossman & Grossman P.A. who can help you with your divorce or situation involving alimony in Florida. We are here and ready to help you. We help people in Windermere, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Orlando and other surrounding communities.