I’m Getting A Divorce… Am I Entitled to Alimony?

Am I Entitled to Alimony?

Following a divorce, a court may order the spouse with more financial resources to make payments to support his or her former spouse. In Florida, the courts have broad discretion in deciding when alimony is appropriate and how much alimony should be awarded.

Alimony payments are not intended to be a punishment but rather are meant to bridge the gap between a spouse with higher financial prospects and a spouse with lower prospects who may find it difficult to adjust to life after a divorce.  Whether or not you are entitled to alimony in the eyes of the court will ultimately be based on a series of factors including how long you were married, your contributions to the marriage, your economic position, and the standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage.

Types of Alimony:

Bridge the Gap Alimony: This is a form of transitional alimony that is intended to help a spouse adjust to life after divorce. It accomplishes this by allocating funds to the receiving spouse so that he or she can make foreseeable payments to items such as bills. This type of alimony may not exceed more than two years.

Durational Alimony: Durational alimony is awarded during short and moderate term marriages (and sometimes long term) and the payments cannot exceed the length of the marriage. For example, if the marriage was 5 years in length, the alimony payments cannot be ordered for longer than 5 years.

Rehabilitative Alimony: You may be entitled to rehabilitative alimony if you need to pursue a different career path that requires educational or vocational courses. When a court grants rehabilitative alimony, the goal is to help the receiving spouse obtain employment that will create more financial stability. This type of alimony may be modified either by the giving or receiving spouse when there is a change in circumstances.

Permanent Alimony: Permanent alimony is generally only granted in moderate-term marriages and long-term marriages. This support is permanent until the receiving spouse remarries or either of the spouses dies. Whether this type of support is appropriate is subjective and generally depends on the receiving spouse’s ability to achieve the lifestyle they had become accustomed to during the marriage.

Eligibility for Alimony

To receive alimony, you must be in need of assistance. For example, if you earn significantly less than your spouse and will be unable to pay your monthly bills without receiving alimony payments after the divorce, you could request alimony. There is no straight-forward formula or calculation the court uses to determine how much alimony you are eligible to receive. Instead, the amount of alimony you will be entitled to will depend on several factors such as:

  • Income available to you and your spouse;
  • You and your spouse’s educational level;
  • You and your spouse’s responsibilities regarding a minor child;
  • You and your spouse’s non-marital assets and other financial resources; and
  • You and your spouse’s contribution to the marriage such as homemaking.

The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm has a team of experienced Probate and Family attorneys located in Coral Gables, Florida. As attorneys who have knowledge in Family law, we understand it can be an emotional and overwhelming process. If you are currently considering getting a divorce, or are in the midst of divorce proceedings and need help determining alimony, contact us to set up an appointment to evaluate your options. We serve the entire state of Florida so call us at 305-677-5119 or email us at info@flpfl.com.

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