A Florida divorce settlement typically has multiple parts. These include the division of the couple’s marital assets, a parenting plan and child support order if they have minor children, and a spousal support order to help the lesser earning spouse avoid financial hardship after the divorce is finalized. Spousal support is often known as alimony
. It is meant to provide the lesser earning spouse with a financial safety net after a divorce is finalized, typically because that spouse opted to exit the workforce or work part time during the marriage in order to devote him- or herself completely to the couple’s children and household. Men can receive alimony just like women can – it is based on the couple’s financial circumstances, not their genders.
Factors Considered when Calculating Spousal Support in Florida
The court has quite a bit of flexibility for determining alimony awards for divorcing couples. Florida’s law includes a list of factors the court may consider when determining whether an individual should receive alimony and if so, how much he or she should receive and the length of time he or she may receive it. The factors in this list include, but are not limited to:
The length of the couple’s marriage;
Each partner’s age and health;
Each partner’s current earnings and projected future earning capacity;
The financial circumstances of other aspects of the couple’s divorce settlement, such as how their property was divided;
The standard of living established during the couple’s marriage; and
Each party’s contributions to the marriage, financial and non-financial.
Most Alimony Awards are Not Permanent
Florida courts consider marriages that lasted seven years or less to be short-term marriages, those that lasted seven to 17 years to be moderate-term marriages, and those that lasted longer than 17 years to be long-term marriages. The length of a couple’s marriage is an important consideration when determining an appropriate alimony amount and duration. Generally, permanent alimony is reserved only for individuals leaving long-term marriages who cannot realistically support themselves later due to a lack of employable skills or disability.
Other types of alimony award include rehabilitative alimony and bride-the-gap alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is short-term support that provides the lesser earning spouse with financial aid while he or she prepares to enter the workforce by completing a college degree or vocational training. Bride-the-gap alimony is support that provides for the lesser earning spouse’s identifiable short-term needs while he or she transitions out of married life, such as help securing housing. Both of these types of alimony have specific end dates written into their orders.
When a longer term of support, but not permanent support, is deemed to be necessary, the court may award durational alimony. The court may establish a specific duration of time for the recipient to receive this support.
Learn More About Spousal Support with Draper Law Office
If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important that you discuss your plan with an experienced Florida divorce lawyer as soon as you can. This way, you will be prepared to face the divorce process and work through the development of all aspects of your divorce settlement. Call (866) 767-4711 or visit Draper Law Office online today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.