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One spouse can be awarded alimony when the other spouse has significantly more income than the other spouse. In Florida, there is no guide or mathematical equation that the courts use to determine alimony. Instead, Courts have wide latitude in determining when alimony is appropriate and how much should be awarded. Courts also decide the specific type of alimony based on the unique circumstances of the case as well.
Alimony is one of those decisions that the Court will make during the divorce process. The team at FLA Legal Professionals, LLC can help you argue for or against an award of alimony in your divorce case. We can also help you modify alimony later if you or your spouse’s financial situation changes after the divorce.
When Alimony is Awarded?
The Court awards alimony when one spouse will not be able to enjoy the same standard of living that they had while they were married if they are on their own. Usually, there are significant differences in income between the spouses, but education and experience is also a relevant factor.
Alimony was developed so that one spouse would not end up being a burden on society after the divorce. Instead of getting welfare, food stamps, or other community or state support, the support comes from the former spouse.
The Court will consider a variety of factors when determining whether an alimony award is appropriate. These factors can include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The standard of living that was established during the marriage
- The age, physical, mental, and emotional condition of each spouse
- The financial resources of each spouse (including liabilities)
- Education levels, experience, vocational skills, and employability of each spouse
- Responsibilities regarding minor children
- Tax treatment regarding a potential alimony award
In an alimony modification, these same factors are weighed again. The Court will then adjust the alimony amount (or whether there is any alimony award at all) based on the changed condition.
Types of Alimony in Florida
There are several types of alimony in Florida. The type that you or your spouse is awarded will often have an effect on whether it can be modified and how it should be modified.
- Permanent alimony continues until the spouse receiving the funds remarries. It can also end when either spouse passes away. It is always modifiable with a showing of a change of circumstances. It can be modified both in amount and duration. That is, it can stop completely in some circumstances.
- This type of alimony is awarded to one spouse while he or she regains the ability to be self-sufficient. It often involves getting additional training or education to reenter the workforce. Modification for this type of alimony may involve a showing that the plan that the receiving spouse proposed is not being pursued or has been completed. It can also be modified into permanent alimony as well.