How Alimony Works in Florida: A Guide for Divorcing Spouses

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a payment that one spouse makes to the other after a divorce to help them maintain a similar standard of living as they had during the marriage.

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How alimony works in florida | Mitchell Law

Alimony is not automatic in Florida, and it depends on various factors, such as the length of the marriage, the income and needs of each spouse, and the ability of the payer to afford alimony.

In this article, we will explain the different types of alimony in Florida, how they are calculated, and how they can be modified or terminated.

Types of Alimony in Florida

Florida recognizes five types of alimony, each with its own purpose and duration. They are:

1.Temporary alimony

This is alimony that is paid while the divorce is pending, and it ends when the final judgment of divorce is entered.

The purpose of temporary alimony is to provide the lower-earning spouse with financial assistance during the divorce process.

2.Bridge-the-gap alimony

This is alimony that is paid for a short period of time, usually up to two years, to help the lower-earning spouse transition from married to single life.

The purpose of bridge-the-gap alimony is to cover specific and identifiable needs, such as moving expenses, rent deposits, or utility bills.

3.Rehabilitative alimony

This is alimony that is paid for a limited period of time, usually up to five years, to help the lower-earning spouse become self-supporting by obtaining education, training, or work experience.

The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to enable the lower-earning spouse to re-enter the workforce or improve their earning capacity.

The recipient of rehabilitative alimony must present a detailed plan of how they intend to achieve their goals.

4.Durational alimony

The purpose of durational alimony is to provide the lower-earning spouse with financial stability until they can adjust to their new circumstances.

The amount of durational alimony can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances.

5.Permanent alimony

This is alimony that is paid indefinitely, until the death or remarriage of the recipient.

The purpose of permanent alimony is to recognize the contributions of the lower-earning spouse to the marriage.nd.

Permanent alimony is only awarded when the lower-earning spouse cannot meet their reasonable needs with their own income.

Permanent alimony can be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances.

How Alimony is Calculated in Florida

Unlike child support, there is no fixed formula or guideline for calculating alimony in Florida.

Instead, the court has broad discretion to determine the amount and duration of alimony, based on the following factors:

1.The standard of living established during the marriage

2.The duration of the marriage

3.The age and physical and emotional condition of each party

4.The financial resources of each party, including the marital and non-marital assets and liabilities

5.The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of each party

6.The contribution of each party to the marriage, including homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party

7.The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common

8.The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award

9.All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party

10.Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties

The court will weigh these factors and decide the type, amount, and duration of alimony that is appropriate for each case.

The court may also order the payer to secure the alimony with a life insurance policy, a bond, or any other assets.

How Alimony can be Modified or Terminated in Florida

Alimony can be modified or terminated in Florida if there is a substantial change in circumstances that affects the need of the recipient or the ability of the payer to pay alimony.

Some examples of substantial changes in circumstances are:

1.A significant increase or decrease in income or expenses of either party

2.A serious illness or disability of either party

3.The retirement of the payer

4.The remarriage of the recipient

5.The cohabitation of the recipient with another person in a supportive relationship

The party seeking to modify or terminate alimony must file a petition with the court.

The court will then review the factors that were considered when the original alimony order was issued.

If the parties agree to modify or terminate alimony, they can do so without going to court.

Conclusion

Alimony is a complex and often contentious issue in Florida divorce cases.

It is important to understand the different types of alimony, how they are calculated, and how they can be modified or terminated.

If you are considering a divorce or have questions about alimony, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney.

 

 

 

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