When you are considering divorce in Florida, one of the first things on your mind may be how you are going to support yourself with one income. You may even be worried because that income will be less than what you have become accustomed to. In some Florida divorces, alimony is ordered by judges so that one party is not left destitute.
A good divorce attorney can help you get regular alimony payments that are fair. These payments will ensure that your living standards are not drastically altered due to your divorce. On the other side of the coin, an experienced attorney can help ensure you aren’t paying an unfair amount if you are ordered to pay alimony.
While an attorney can certainly help set up fair payments, it is up to the court to make the final determination of how much those payments will be. To decide this, the court will look at several factors.
1. Length of Your Marriage
The first consideration a court will take is the length of your divorce. A short-term marriage is one that has lasted under seven years. A marriage that has lasted between 7 and 17 years is considered a medium-term one, and a long-term marriage is one that has lasted 17 years or more. The longer your marriage, the higher your payments will typically be.
2. Employment Prospects
Just because you are granted alimony doesn’t mean that you can go without work for as long as you like. Alimony is not a means of permanent support; rather, it is intended to help a divorced person maintain a certain financial status while they seek gainful employment. A court may consider your ability to secure employment when determining your alimony payments.
3. Disparity in Income
A judge will also look at the disparity in income between you and your spouse. Just because you made less, doesn’t mean you will get less. A judge will order alimony payments in an amount that allows you to maintain the lifestyle, or close to it, that you and your spouse adopted during the marriage.
4. Child Support
In general, the higher the amount of child support, the less the amount of the alimony payments, and vice versa. Child support takes a certain precedence over any financial support given to the ex-spouse and must be calculated together to determine the fair and appropriate amount.
5. Age of Spouse
A younger person will not typically pay as high of alimony as an older person. The older the couple, the higher the alimony tends to be, as finding gainful employment may be more difficult. This is not always the case, as many other factors come into play when a judge is determining the amount of payments.
Alimony is not meant to be a system of support forever, but it is intended to support a person while they are getting on their feet following a divorce. If you need assistance with determining fair alimony in Orlando, reach out to our office for a free case evaluation. We will help you determine what you may be entitled to, and we will help you fight for it in family court.