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The Law Offices of Eve McClurg

A judge and a lawyer at a table with money, a wedding ring, and a gavel, symbolizing alimony - The Law Offices of Eve McClurgIn this article, you can discover…

  • The types of alimony now available in Florida.
  • How each spouse’s earning capacities affect alimony.
  • How an alimony can be modified or terminated.
What Are The Different Types Of Alimony Available In Florida?

The types of alimony available in Florida include “bridge the gap” alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and durational alimony.

“Bridge the gap” alimony can be awarded for two years and is meant to help the party transition financially from being married to being single.

Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded for five years and is meant to help the recipient redevelop skills or acquire the education needed for self-supportive work.

Durational alimony lasts for a certain amount of time, dependent upon the length of the marriage itself.

A former category known as “permanent alimony” was done away with in 2023. This means that alimony may no longer automatically be awarded for life and that stricter standards now exist.

How Does The Length Of The Marriage Impact Alimony Decisions?

The length of your marriage determines the type of alimony decision a court will hand down. New laws classify marriage as having been “short-term” or under 10 years, “moderate-term” of 10 to 20 years, or a “long-term” marriage that lasted 20 years or longer.

The length of marriage itself is calculated from the date of the marriage to the date of filing the legal dissolution of marriage.

How Long Can The Courts Set Alimony In The New Statute Now?

Courts are now quite limited in how long durational alimony can be awarded. Under new laws, the duration of payments is calculated as a percentage of the length of the marriage.

This would be 50% the length of a “short marriage”, 60% of the length of a “medium” marriage, and 75% the length of a “long marriage”. So, if you and your spouse were only married for eight years, the longest you would have to pay alimony for would be four years.

In addition, durational alimony can not amount to more than 35% of the gap between you and your spouse’s net incomes.

Exceptions may still be made to these standards in rare and extraordinary cases. But overall, these new and specific calculations remove much of the guesswork from alimony and can give you and your attorney a better idea of what to expect moving forward.

How Does The Standard Of Living During The Marriage Affect Alimony?

Suppose you can prove the need and ability of your former spouse to pay. In that case, the legal system will also examine your lifestyle when married to determine appropriate alimony awards and weigh your genuine needs with the length of the marriage. The courts will consider factors such as vacations, shopping trips, the purchase of high-end clothing or accessories, and general extravagant spending.

They will also consider how frugally and carefully you both had lived and will consider the needs and necessities of life for each of you, both during and after the judgment is issued.

How Do The Earning Capabilities Of Each Spouse Influence Alimony?

Earning capacity will greatly affect the amount of alimony awarded. Your attorney will ask for detailed records of your and your former spouse’s income and expenses, assets and liabilities. The courts will also look at you and your former spouse’s earning capacities, educational level, vocational skills, and employability.

Each party’s ability to obtain future education or skills training needed for a self-supporting career will also be weighed.

Does The Age And Physical Condition Of Each Spouse Affect Alimony?

Age and physical condition factor heavily into alimony decisions. The physical and mental health of both you and your former spouse is considered, especially in light of how each may affect your ability to care for yourself or your ability to pay alimony. Whether these conditions are expected to be permanent or temporary is also weighed.

Does Infidelity Impact An Alimony Decision In Florida?

Yes. Under new laws, the courts may consider infidelity within a marriage as a factor in how much, if anything, in alimony should be awarded. Previously, adultery would be considered only under certain circumstances, such as an ex-spouse needing to support someone they were involved with.

Today, courts will consider adultery as being a factor in how much alimony is awarded. Your own or a spouse’s infidelity can both be a factor, as well as any sort of economic impact of that infidelity.

Do New Alimony Laws Include Allowances For Minor Children?

New laws factor in the expenses involved in caring for minor children that you and your ex-spouse have in common. This is especially true if these minor children are physically or mentally disabled in any way.

Courts will also examine how much time you and your former spouse each have with the children; if you are your children’s primary caregiver, the courts will weigh more in your favor in light of those expenses. This could mean receiving more alimony or being required to pay less of it.

When Can Alimony Be Modified Or Terminated In Florida?

Alimony can be modified or terminated if there are considerable and impactful changes in your or your spouse’s income levels. Should you or your spouse pass away, alimony would be immediately terminated.

In addition, alimony could be modified or terminated if it is discovered that a financially supportive relationship existed that nullified you or your ex-spouse’s need for alimony payments.

The last factor that you and your attorney can discuss is retirement; retiring can now impact how courts will view alimony dictates. As a retired person is focusing on their own care and no longer actively earning, the courts will consider this and allow a modification of alimony agreements when you or your former spouse hit retirement.

For more information on Key Factors That Determine Alimony In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (239) 334-4383 today.