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.