My spouse and I are considering divorce, but I’m concerned about paying alimony. Is there information available about how Florida addresses alimony and how it may affect my finances?
Alimony is paid from one spouse to the other spouse after a divorce and it is intended to provide the lower income earning spouse with financial support for a specified period of time. It is also referred to as spousal support.
Alimony can be awarded to either spouse, but will not be ordered until their assets and liabilities have been equally divided. The order will specify which spouse is required to pay, how much he or she must pay and how often.
Factors and types of alimony
The court may take several factors into consideration when deciding whether to award alimony and how much to award. These include the length of the marriage, the parties’ ages, their standard of living and financial resources, each spouse’s ability to earn income and how long it would take for him or her to receive education or training necessary to enter the workforce.
Florida recognizes five types of alimony. There are rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, permanent, durational and lump-sum.
Rehabilitative alimony is intended for a limited time to help the receiving spouse redevelop his or her skills to be financially independent. Bridge-the-gap alimony is paid for a short period of time to help the receiving spouse transition to single life.
Permanent alimony is awarded until the paying spouse remarries or dies and durational alimony is paid for a specific period of time. Lump-sum alimony is paid all at once.
An experienced attorney can provide guidance and advice about alimony payments and the impact they may have on an individual’s finances.