What does Florida consider when awarding alimony?

During your marriage, you may have relied on your spouse to help support you, having your husband or wife help finance your lifestyle while you handled other family affairs. When your Florida marriage ends, though, you may have valid concerns about being able to maintain the lifestyle you came to enjoy during your union. 

If so, you may decide to pursue alimony in your divorce. The Florida Legislature refers to a specific set of factors when deciding whether to award it to you one of the four types of alimony it recognizes, which include bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational or permanent alimony. What are some of the variables that help determine whether you receive alimony? 

The duration of your marriage

The length of your marriage may help determine what type of alimony you receive and whether you receive it at all. Florida considers marriages that lasted less than seven years to be short-term unions. Marriages that last between seven and 17 years constitute moderate-term marriages, and unions that last 17 years or longer are long-term marriages. 

Your age and physical and mental state

Your age, physical condition and mental state may also help determine whether you receive alimony. So, too, may those of your spouse. These variables help paint a picture of how employable you may be. The less employable you are, the more likely you may be to secure alimony when your marriage ends. 

The contributions you each made to the marriage

Your contributions to your marriage or family unit may also come into play when making decisions about alimony. If, for example, you paved the way for your spouse to further his or her career by staying home and managing the household and children, this may strengthen your alimony argument. 

While these are some of the main determinations that decide whether you receive alimony, other areas may, too, undergo review.