There are a number of issues in divorce that can have lasting financial implications far after the dissolution of marriage paperwork has been signed off on by a judge. One such issue is spousal support, or “alimony.” While many things may change with divorce, both you and your former spouse will still have financial needs after the divorce is finalized. Florida law recognizes that these needs exist and there may be a period of time, some more extended than others, that one spouse is going to need financial assistance in order to become self-supporting after divorce.
Florida Factors in Alimony Awards
On a broad level, alimony is awarded based on one spouse’s ability to pay and the other spouse’s need for the support. The specific type and amount of alimony to be awarded will be based on a number of different factors. The type of alimony to be awarded may be:
In order to determine which type of alimony to be awarded and how much alimony will be awarded as well as how long alimony payments will last, courts are authorized to look at a range of factors. For instance, the court will look at what standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage and how long the marriage lasted. The court is also likely to look at how each spouse contributed during the marriage. Contributions to the marriage go beyond basic financial contributions. Caring for the children is a big way a spouse contributes to the marriage as is caring for the home, and pursuing or promoting one spouse advancing their education and pursuing career building opportunities.
Other factors to consider in the alimony determination include:
- The age and physical condition of each spouse
- The financial resources of each spouse
- The income sources of each spouse
- How the marital assets and debts will be divided
- The responsibilities of each spouse in respect to the children
Furthermore, the earning potential of each spouse will also be a major consideration in the alimony determination. This will require looking at the employability of each spouse and merit a review of their education and job skills. It is also likely going to necessitate evaluating any special job training or education that a spouse would need to allow them to pursue their career potential. Above and beyond all of this, the court is empowered to consider any other factor that would be necessary to achieve equity and justice on the issue of alimony.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
The alimony determination in a divorce can have significant and far-reaching implications for both spouses. Make sure your best interests are being protected and pursued throughout the process. The team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou is here to advocate on your behalf. You do not need to go through all of this on your own. Our team is knowledgeable and experienced in Florida family law. Contact us today.