Alimony

Alimony

Alimony is currently one of the hottest topics in Florida Family Law.  It is undergoing changes on a regular basis and is likely to change again in the not too distant future.  

 

Section 61.08(2), Florida Statutes, instructs trial courts that “in determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance…, the court shall consider all relevant factors…” The statute then lists ten (10) factors which the court must consider, though this list is not exhaustive. Florida Statutes § 61.08(2)(a)-(j) (2012). Once the statutory factors have been considered, trial courts are then tasked with determining which type of alimony, if any, is to be awarded. Those include temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent periodic alimony or a combination of these different forms of alimony. The amount and duration depends on the individual circumstances of your marriage and financial circumstances.

 

The ten factors which must be considered are:

 

    1. The standard of living established during the marriage;

    2. The duration of the marriage;

    3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party;

    4. The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each;

    5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment;

    6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;

    7. The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common;

    8. The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment;

    9. All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party; and

    10. Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.