Alimony in Florida is governed by Florida Statute §61.08. The purpose of this statute is to enumerate what factors a court should consider when determining whether or not an award of alimony is appropriate, for what time period, and in what amount.
Currently there are six different types of alimony which can be awarded in the State of Florida. In determining whether or not to award alimony, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony.
The six different types of alimony in Florida are as follows: Temporary, Bridge-the-Gap, Rehabilitative, Durational, Lump Sum, and Permanent Periodic.
A major factor considered by the court in determining which of the above stated alimonies may be applicable in your case is the length of your marriage. The current alimony statute divides marriages into three categories with regard to length; Short-term, moderate term and long-term. A short term marriage is defined by the statute as a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is defined as a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and a long-term marriage is defined as a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. 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.
Additionally, the court is required to consider the below stated factors, prior to an award of alimony:
- 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.
Alan S. Rosenthal
“ Success is a series of obstacles conquered.”