Courts may order alimony for a spouse in need after a divorce or separation; however, it is not punitive. Courts will recognize that one spouse may have more skills and resources than the other spouse after a divorce. Thus, alimony levels the playing field and has three classifications based on length of marriage.
Types of Alimony
Permanent: If the spouse receiving the alimony is likely to need economic assistance on a permanent basis, the court may award a judgment for permanent alimony. The courts usually will consider granting this type in marriages lasting more than seven years. This provides for financial needs of a spouse who lacks the ability to become self-supporting at a living standard close to the marital standard.
Temporary : This is the most common form. Courts will grant temporary alimony to a spouse who needs financial support while the divorce is pending. This award is automatically terminated once the divorce is finalized, however, another type can replace it.
Bridge-the-gap alimony: AKA transitional, this type allows for a smooth transition for a spouse from marriage to being single.
Rehabilitative Alimony: This type assists the recipient spouse in getting an education or training for employment. Consequently, this type requires a specific plan for implementation.
Factors the Court Considers:
- How long the marriage lasted;
- The contributions each spouse made to the marriage including:
- Child care
- The financial position of each spouse;
- Whether either spouse committed adultery; and
- The marital standard of living
The court balances these factors to make a determination; however, the court can use additional factors that may be relevant to the instant case.
If the divorce petition is filed in Florida, the court will most likely apply the Florida rules. However, the Statutes do not exclude the possibility of applying the rules of another state or country, as long as it does not “contravenes the strong public policy” of the State. Alimony can also be affected by pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. If you have questions about how to calculate alimony please contact us. Our experienced attorneys look forward to assisting you.