Alimony

Alimony Attorneys in South Florida

In a Florida divorce a spouse may be entitled to receive spousal support (alimony) from the spouse upon the dissolution of the marriage.  The award of alimony is determined on a case-by-case basis and your family law attorney will likely be able to help you determine if alimony is applicable in your divorce proceeding.

Alimony Considerations:
When a court is deciding on whether to award alimony to a spouse there are several considerations it will consider before ruling  These considerations include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Need and ability to pay – The court will look to see if the party requesting the alimony has a need for it and then will look to see if the other side has the ability to pay.
  2. Type of alimony – If the court determines that it will award alimony it will then look to see what type of alimony will be awarded.
  3. Amount of alimony – If alimony is awarded, the court will determine how much alimony will be awarded.
  4. Duration of alimony – If alimony is awarded, the court will determine how long alimony will be awarded for (years, months, lump)

Types of Alimony in Florida Divorces

Under Florida law the court can order six different types of alimony.  The four types of alimony in Florida divorce cases are the following:

Temporary Alimony – Temporary alimony is alimony that is provided to a spouse to cover the household expenses (utilities, mortgages, car payments, school, etc.) while the divorce is pending and terminates when the divorce proceeding is completed.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – Bridge the gap alimony is used to assist one party to transition from married life to single life.  This type of alimony shall not exceed two years and is automatically terminated upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving the alimony.

Rehabilitative Alimony – Rehabilitative alimony is used to help the needing party become self sufficient.  Examples include using the alimony to acquire skills, training, or an educational advancement.   Rehabilitative alimony is not designed to be permanent but it’s time frame can vary greatly and will be decided on a case by case basis.

Durational Alimony – Durational alimony is alimony that is provided for a set period of time and the time cannot exceed the life of the marriage.   It is usually awarded to a spouse that does NOT qualify for permanent alimony but one that can show they need economic assistance for a period of time after the divorce.

Permanent Alimony – Permanent alimony is used to help a spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet the needs and necessities of his or her life as it was during the marriage.  In order to obtain permanent alimony the party seeking it needs to show that no other alimony would be appropriate.  This type of alimony terminates upon the remarriage or the death of the party receiving it.

Lump Sum Alimony – Lump sum alimony can be awarded when it is impracticable to award periodic permanent alimony.  Lump sum alimony is not modifiable and does not terminate upon death or remarriage.

Florida Alimony Factors:

The Court uses factors to determine what type of alimony and the duration of the alimony to be awarded.  In awarding alimony to a spouse the Court may consider the following  factors:

  1. The length of the marriage
  2. The standard of living during the marriage
  3. A party’s ability to pay the support, and the other party’s need for the support
  4. Whether a party has been unemployed to care for the children
  5. Whether a party gave up a career to benefit the marriage
  6. The marital and non-marital assets and debts of the marriage and their division

The court may also consider a number of other factors and awards of alimony are on a case by case basis.

Length of Marriage

Florida courts use the length of the marriage as a factor to decide the length of alimony to award.  The are broken down as follows:

Short Term – 1 to 7 years
Medium Term – 8 to 17 years
Long Term – Over 18 years

The family law attorneys at Shmucher Law, PL can help you determine whether you will be entitled to receive alimony in your divorce case.  Feel free to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your individual case.