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
a. The court usually looks at whether the parties traveled a lot during the marriage. Was it common for the couple and their children to visit exotic places, did the parties own a timeshare or had vacation club membership? These are just some factors the court takes into consideration when determining alimony.
2. Duration of the marriage
a. Length of marriage plays a significant factor in determining whether the court awards alimony to one spouse.
b. Short Term Marriage: 0-5 Years
c. Moderate Term Marriage: 5-15 Years
d. Long Term Marriage 15-17 years or more
3. Age and physical and emotional consideration of each party
4. The responsibility each part will have with regards to any minor children
5. The financial resources of each party, earning capacity and educational levels
6. The sources of income available to either party
7. The time necessary for either party to obtain training or education
8. Contributions to the marriage, such as services rendered in homemaking, child care, education and career building of the other party
To get a details analysis of your alimony case and to see whether you may be eligible to receive alimony or if you will have to pay your spouse alimony, the Law Offices of Kay-Ann P. Waite, P.A. can assess your case. Give us a call to get more information.
Alimony Can Be Modified
The court may modify the alimony award, upon a showing of substantial changes in circumstances by the payor spouse or recipient spouse. Typically, alimony terminates upon the death of either spouse or remarriage of the recipient spouse or if the court finds the existence of a supportive relationship with another person, depending on the type of
Whether you would be paying or receiving support, Orlando alimony attorney Waite and the Law Offices of Kay-Ann P. Waite, P.A., can provide the representation you need to protect your rights and interests to a fair and satisfactory outcome regarding alimony in your Florida divorce. Please call us at (407) 413-9913 to discuss you legal needs.