There are many factors that the court considers when determining whether or not alimony should be awarded to a spouse and what that alimony amount should be. Often times, clients want to know how much alimony they will have to pay or how much they will receive. This is a difficult question to answer with any regularity or consistency as facts and circumstances vary from case to case and many factors are analyzed by the court in determining a party’s entitlement to alimony and the amount and type they receive.
Florida statutory law provides that a court may award alimony in the form of transitional, rehabilitative, durational, permanent, or any combination thereof. In making an award of any of these types of alimony, the court must first consider if a party has an actual need for alimony and whether the other party has the ability to pay alimony. If the court finds both a need and ability to pay the court considers the following factors in determining the types and amount:
- the standard of living established during the marriage
- the duration of the marriage
- the age and physical and emotional condition of each party
- the financial resources of each party
- the earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education and training to enable a party to find appropriate employment
- the contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in home making, child care, education, and career building of the other party
- the responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common
- the tax consequences to both parties of any alimony award
- all sources of income available to either party
- any other factor to do equity and justice between the parties
In addition to the above factors, the court may also consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining an amount of alimony. Even though Florida is a no fault state for the purposes of granting a dissolution of marriage, the court may consider any adultery in determining entitlement to alimony and the amount and type to be paid. The court must also consider whether the length of the marriage was a short term marriage defined as less than seven years, a moderate term marriage defined as more than seven but less than seventeen, or a long term marriage defined as more than seventeen years. The length of marriage is important when evaluating the factors above and determining the type of alimony to award. With regard to types, the court may award one or any combination of the following specific types of alimony:
Transitional – Awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make the transition from being married to being single and cannot exceed a period of two years.
Rehabilitative – Awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self support and there must be a specific plan contained in any order from the court establishing this type of alimony.
Durational – Awarded when permanent is not appropriate and is awarded to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time in short and moderate term marriages, but the length of the award cannot exceed the duration of the marriage.
Permanent – Awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs or necessities. Permanent alimony can be awarded following any length of marriage, except that exceptional circumstances must be shown in short term marriages.
To review Florida’s entire alimony statute please click here. INSERT LINK.
In order to have a full analysis of the types and amount of alimony you may have to pay or may receive call the lawyers at Cortes Hodz, P.A.