When it comes to alimony, you probably have two questions: (1) how much, and (2) for how long? Unfortunately, there is no one answer. Each case is unique and so each alimony determination will be different. What is certain is that the courts will consider these factors when determining alimony:
- The length of the marriage
- The ages and health of the spouses
- The time and expense required for the supported spouse to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop marketable skills
- The spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including homemaking, child care, education, and helping the other spouse build a career
- Both spouses’ financial needs
- Both spouses’ debts and assets
- Any tax consequences of the alimony award
In Florida, spouses can request temporary alimony and permanent alimony, as well as bridge-the-gap alimony (for short term), rehabilitative alimony (for employment education), and durational alimony. Temporary alimony is a regular payment made from the spouse who earns more money to the one who earns less. It’s “temporary” because it provides financial support to the lower-earning spouse during the divorce process. Temporary alimony ends once permanent alimony is awarded.
Florida law applies certain presumptions with regard to length of marriage and eligibility for permanent alimony. Following a marriage of at least 17 years, a judge may award permanent alimony if such an award is appropriate in light of the above factors. After a marriage of between 7 and 17 years, there must be clear and convincing evidence of appropriateness to justify the award. After a marriage of less than 7 years, permanent alimony is appropriate only in exceptional circumstances. A marriage lasts until the spouses actually file for dissolution, not when they informally separate or stop living together.
If you need help with alimony issues, please contact our Altamonte Springs family law attorney at the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. to discuss your case.Call (407) 753-4111 or contact us online for a free consultation today.