In a Florida divorce, alimony is a common component based on the fact that many households have one spouse that traditionally has been financially providing for the home more than the other spouse. While many households are two-income households, the earnings of the parties may be substantially different during the marriage. Also, there are households that still cling to the traditional set-up of one spouse working while the other spouse is a homemaker. The historical make-up of the marriage is considered by the courts in determining whether a spouse should be awarded alimony.
Florida lawmakers have not yet established an alimony calculation to rival that of other states. As such, determining an award of alimony in a Florida divorce is based on a subjective finding of a spouse's financial need for alimony and the other's ability to pay alimony. Other factors that are considered in determining an award of alimony are the length of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse during the marriage, the spouses educational backgrounds, work history, etc.
Florida alimony is based on a number of factors, but the type of alimony that may be awarded has been recently updated by the Florida legislature. Of course, as always, if the parties agree to more or less alimony then that they can sign a formal agreement that outlines their wishes. However, when parties cannot agree the Florida legislature has recently provided guidelines for determining which form of alimony may be awarded based on length of marriage: rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, durational (set time), or permanent. The court may either award alimony in the form of periodic payments, a lump sum payment, or both.
Alimony Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Get Permanent Alimony in Florida? (12/7/11)
How Can Alimony Be Paid in Florida? (3/2/12)