Do I have to pay alimony in a divorce in Florida?
Alimony may be granted by the court to either party and is based on the requesting spouse’s need and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
Under Florida law, alimony is granted to a spouse and it can be awarded to intend to get the person to a position where he or she can take care of expenses without assistance, durational, or permanent. People often think of alimony as paid on a monthly basis, it can be awarded in a lump sum or be a combination of the two. In making a determination of whether or not to award alimony, the court may consider non-monetary factors.
Alimony is a means to level the playing field. Alimony or maintenance payments are not punitive in nature but are a recognition that one spouse may have more resources and skills than another to support him or herself going forward. The length of a marriage is very important in determining alimony. Marriages may be classified as short, moderate, or long-term. These are broken down as follows:
- Short-term – A marriage that lasted fewer than seven (7) years;
- Moderate-term – A marriage that lasts 7 or more years, but fewer than seventeen (17) years;
- Long-term – A marriage that lasts 17 or more years.
There are several factors courts take into consideration in awarding alimony or spousal maintenance. If one of the parties to the marriage committed adultery, the court may take this into account and consider the circumstances surrounding the adultery. The court will also consider financial matters when setting alimony, including:
- The standard of living that each spouse enjoyed during the marriage;
- How long the marriage lasted;
- The age of each spouse and any physical and emotional impairments that may hinder earning capacity and economic needs;
- The economic position of each of the spouses, including marital and non-marital assets that are being distributed or retained under the divorce decree and the assumption of any debt incurred during the marriage;
- Whether or not each spouse will require additional education or career training in order to find a job that will enable that spouse to support him or herself;
- What contributions each spouse made to the marriage, both financial and otherwise, which includes homemaking, child care, support of a spouse in obtaining an education, and the assistance one spouse gave the other in building a business or career.
For divorce assistance, contact the Divorce Attorney Tampa for your Free Consultation at (813) 336-3616.
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