Getting Alimony in Florida
With gender equality on the rise, is there still a need for alimony? Why should I pay my spouse alimony? Is alimony fair? If she is an "independent woman," why does she want my money? Is maintenance just an entitlement issue or was it earned? In Florida, each spouse has a duty to support the other. The "duty to support" extends beyond the marriage in certain circumstances for the court to grant an alimony award.
Types of Alimony
In Florida, the threshold for an award of alimony is one spouse need for alimony versus the other spouse ability to pay. Florida courts look at each party financial circumstances and evaluate a number of different factors to see if one spouse meets the criteria for alimony. Under Florida law, if a spouse files for divorce, there are five types of alimony they can request: (1) temporary (pendente lite) which is granted during the pendency of the divorce litigation. This type of alimony may not be waived in a prenuptial agreement; (2) bridge-the-gap alimony - which is provided to help a spouse make the transition from married to single life and is granted for short term needs, not to exceed two years; (3) rehabilitative alimony - which is issued for a defined period to a needy spouse so that the needy spouse, within the defined time frame, become self-supporting through education or job training; (4) durational alimony – which is available for marriages between 0 and 17 years and is awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate; and (5) permanent alimony – which is awarded when a needy spouse lacks the ability to become financially self-sufficient.
Factors to Determine Award of Alimony
In determining the type, duration and amount of alimony, the court takes into consideration the following factors:
1. Standard of living during the marriage