When a couple decides to divorce, the lower wage-earning spouse may be concerned about how he or she will be financially supported. In Florida, the court may order one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony.
Before alimony, also sometimes called spousal support, can be awarded, the court will review the couple’s assets and debts. After the court has divided these equitably, it will consider whether one spouse should pay alimony and what amount is appropriate.
If the couple has agreed to spousal support in advance of the divorce, they can present that proposal to the court for consideration. However, the court is not required to accept it.
The court may consider several factors when deciding whether to award spousal support and how much. Generally, it will review the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, their ages, physical and emotional condition, financial resources and their ability to earn income or find employment.
In Florida, the court may award different types of alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a limited time to help the receiving spouse build his or her skills for the workplace and gain financial independence. Bridge-the-gap alimony is usually awarded for a limited purpose to help the receiving spouse transition.
Permanent alimony is in place until the paying spouse remarries or passes away, durational alimony is paid for a certain amount of time and lump sum alimony is paid all at once, either in money or property.
An experienced attorney can provide guidance and advice about alimony.