Divorce is already an arduous process for the litigants, but what can make it even more challenging is the issue of alimony, a common cause of strife in divorce proceedings. The purpose of alimony is to prevent one spouse from suffering a significant economical disadvantage as a result of the dissolution of a marriage.
Disputes tend to arise when the paying spouse complains of the determined alimony payment being too high. Because Florida does not provide a formula to calculate the amount of alimony that one former spouse must pay to the other, judges must take certain standard factors into account in their alimony determination, including
Length of the marriage – the longer the marriage, the higher the likelihood of a spouse receiving alimony
Income and assets of each spouse – earnings from jobs, assets, investments
Future earning potential of each spouse – how much work experience or education does each spouse have, and what kinds of work/earning opportunities do they give each spouse?
Life contributions made by each spouse during the marriage – e.g., did the couple relocate to another state for one spouse’s job; one spouse gives up pursuit of a college degree to be primary caretaker of children
Age and physical condition of each spouse – is either spouse in good enough health to make a living post-marriage?
Lifestyle standard during the marriage – e.g., ownership of properties, amount of money spent on necessities such as automobiles and clothing
Different types of spousal support can be awarded by judges in the state of Florida:
Bridge the gap – paid for 2 years maximum to help the recipient spouse transition into a single-income lifestyle
Durational – paid only for a certain amount of time, not for longer than the length of the marriage
Lump sum – a set payment calculated to do equity between the parties that can be in the form of money or property; usually ordered to be paid either on a one-time basis or over a set period of time.
Permanent – typically awarded in long-term marriages (by definition, exceeding 17 years) and paid until the recipient spouse either remarries or dies
Rehabilitative – paid until the recipient spouse is able to financially support themselves
Temporary – paid to enable the recipient spouse to cover expenses until divorce finalization