Certain obligations are automatic when a couple divorces. For example, when you share children, child support orders are the standard and will typically be a nearly automatic side effect of initiating divorce proceedings. The children have a right to financial support under Florida state law that neither parent can typically waive unless both are already financially independent.
When it comes to spousal support or alimony, the process is much more confusing. It is not automatic, which means the spouse hoping to secure frequent payments from their ex will need to request alimony specifically. What determines if the Florida family courts will grant someone alimony or not during divorce proceedings?
Factors from the marriage determine someone’s alimony rights
Florida state law allows judges to carefully review a family’s situation when deciding if alimony is necessary and appropriate given the circumstances. Any promises made in a marital contract, like a prenuptial agreement, can affect a judge’s ruling on alimony requests.
The standard of living during the marriage, the career sacrifices made to support the family and even the health of each spouse will influence what a judge orders. In most cases, the goal of alimony is to provide short-term support for the financial rehabilitation of a dependent spouse.
However, in situations involving severe health issues, special needs children who will never live independently and marriages that lasted for decades, the courts may sometimes award permanent alimony to a spouse incapable of supporting themselves.
Having accurate financial records is important
Your chances of securing alimony when you need it or minimizing alimony when an ex claims it will depend in no small part on the records you have of your finances and your marital situation. The more documentation you have supporting your side of the story, the more likely it is that a judge will agree with you.
Those worried that a judge could make a choice that forces them into a situation of financial hardship may want to consider negotiating with their ex to settle alimony matters outside of court. Otherwise, a judge’s interpretation of the situation will be what decides your financial future. Making sense of Florida’s rules related to alimony requests can help those trying to plan for their future during a divorce.