Alimony and Spousal Support
Alimony, or spousal support, is a payment that a court may order for one spouse to pay to the other spouse. Alimony is meant to assist the lower-wage-earning spouse after going through a divorce. Spouses may also agree on an alimony payment on their own. If you and your spouse make an alimony agreement, it is in your best interest to present the agreement to the court, so it becomes a part of the court’s order.
Factors in Awarding Alimony
Alimony takes into account the financial position of the spouses when making an alimony payment determination. Some financial matters the court may consider are:
- The standard of living each spouse enjoyed during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage;
- Whether each spouse will require additional education or career training to find a job that will allow the spouse to provide for themselves;
- Financial contributions each spouse made to the marriage;
- The economic position of each of the spouses; and
- Any physical/ mental impairments each spouse has that could negatively affect earnings.
Types of Alimony
Generally, alimony payments are meant to provide a spouse with assistance so that he or she can readjust to life after a divorce. Different types of alimony include bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony and permanent alimony.
- Bridge-the-gap Alimony: intended to help a spouse transition from being married to being single by providing the spouse with the funds necessary to pay any foreseeable expenses associated with starting life without a spouse.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: This form of alimony is awarded when a spouse will need to pursue an education or career training in order to obtain employment that will enable self-sufficiency. An order for rehabilitative alimony will include a plan addressing what kind of education or training the spouse requires, associated costs for receiving such education or training, and the estimated time period it will take for the spouse to be self-sufficient.
- Durational Alimony: This is common among short-term marriages where other forms of alimony are not appropriate. It is set for a pre-determined period of time, which cannot exceed the duration of the marriage.
- Permanent Alimony: This is common in long term marriages. It is granted where a spouse does not have the ability to achieve the standard of life set by the marriage. This standard is very subjective, and the court has to consider the couple’s life together to determine what would be a reasonable payment.
Our team of knowledgeable family lawyers will provide you with the help you need, tailored to you and your family’s unique situation. The process can also understandably be overwhelming, emotional, and complicated in many situations. However, working with an experienced Florida family law attorney can make the process much easier for everyone involved. The attorneys at The Florida Probate and Family Law Firm understand your situation, and we will use our extensive experience to secure the most favorable solution in your case. We pride ourselves on understanding our client’s needs and goals, and then use our knowledge, skill, and resources to work towards a desirable outcome. Contact us today to discuss your situation, get your questions answered, and find out how we can help with your alimony issue today.