How is Alimony Determined in Florida?
When a couple decides to file for divorce and is unable to come to an agreement on whether one spouse will have the right to receive spousal maintenance, a court will be required to step in and make this determination on their behalf. However, before a court will award spousal maintenance during divorce, a judge will first assess a number of specific conditions that can then be used to calculate the total that the recipient can collect and for what amount of time. To find out more about the factors used by judges to make these determinations and how best to present your own case to the court, please contact a dedicated Fort Lauderdale alimony attorney who can assist you.
When determining whether an alimony award is appropriate in a specific case, Florida judges are directed to address certain factors, including:
- The couple’s income during the marriage;
- The lifestyle and living arrangements of the couple during the marriage;
- Whether financial support was provided by one spouse to the other during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage; and
- The family’s total assets and liabilities.
Courts may also take into consideration the health of the parties, as well as whether a couple has any children, in addition to each party’s role in the relationship. After applying these factors, a judge will determine whether, based on the couple’s prior lifestyle and the duration of the marriage, one of the party’s will have the right to collect spousal maintenance.
Types of Alimony Payments
How much alimony a spouse will receive after a divorce is finalized also depends on the type of alimony in question, of which there are a number of different kinds. For instance, rehabilitative alimony is often awarded to parties who were unemployed during the marriage and who will now need to develop new skills, or seek further education or training before reentering the job market. In many cases, courts require the recipient to seek gainful employment when possible, and if the individual does not do so as ordered, will suspend alimony until that goal has been achieved.
Courts also have the option of awarding durational alimony, which takes the form of payments that are only made for a specific period of time. Permanent alimony, on the other hand, ensures that the recipient spouse will continue receiving some financial support until the paying spouse passes away, or the recipient spouse remarries. Finally, courts can award bridge-the-gap alimony, which is intended to help the receiving spouse make the transition from married life to single life by assisting him or her in obtaining a vehicle or by providing a down payment for a home. Of the many types of alimony payments, bridge-the-gap alimony is the only kind that usually takes the form of one lump sum payment, rather than a series of monthly or semi-monthly payments.
Florida Legal Support
If you need a lawyer who can help you present your case for spousal maintenance, please call 954-945-7591 to speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about your legal options.