Financial matters are often divisive for those negotiating an upcoming divorce. You and your ex may have very different ideas about what would be fair when it comes to alimony or spousal maintenance.
If you have stayed at home raising your children for years, you may feel like it is only appropriate to receive some support until you can get your career back on track. If you have worked hard to support your family for years and don’t want to divorce, the idea of paying alimony can be very frustrating. When you understand the rules about alimony in Florida, you will be in a better position to advocate for yourself.
Marital circumstances dictate alimony
The length of your marriage, the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage and your earning potential all affect what the courts may decree is appropriate regarding alimony in your case. The most important considerations when a judge determines if alimony is appropriate include the need of the spouse requesting alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
The amount and duration of alimony will also vary from case to case. For most couples in Florida, alimony will only last a set amount of time. The goal of short-term alimony is to allow one spouse to regain the necessary skills to support themselves financially. Alimony frequently only lasts a year or two. There are a few, rare, circumstances in which longer-term alimony may be possible.
Situations with decades-long marriages that end in divorce and scenarios where one spouse is too old or too unhealthy to work could all lead to permanent alimony orders. A situation where one spouse will have lifelong obligations to a shared child with special needs might also lead to long-term or permanent alimony.
Alimony orders can change
Even if there is an obligation to pay alimony initially after the divorce, the circumstances for you and your ex can always change. Issues ranging from job loss to remarriage can lead to alimony modifications and possibly the end of payments in some cases. Both the spouse receiving alimony and the spouse paying it will have the right to ask for a modification in certain circumstances.
Learning the state rules for alimony can help you understand what to expect in your upcoming divorce.