Making the Right Decisions Through Florida Alimony Attorneys
With offices in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Orlando
While all states have alimony, sometimes called spousal support or spousal maintenance, each state has its own particular laws. Our Florida lawyers at Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A., assist clients with alimony and other family law matters.
How does alimony work in Florida?
Alimony is financial support that one spouse pays to another spouse who is unable to be self-supportive. Alimony can be for a defined period of time or indefinite. Courts do not automatically award alimony when couples are getting divorced. Based on Florida statutes, factors that the courts consider when deciding whether to award alimony include the following:
- Marriage duration
- Each spouse’s financial resources (marital and non-marital) and liabilities
- Ages, physical conditions and emotional states of both spouses
- Standard of living during marriage
- Time required for either spouse to acquire the adequate training or education necessary for finding appropriate employment
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage for education, homemaking, child care and for the other spouse’s career building
- All income sources of both spouses
- Any other factors that influence equity and justice in awarding alimony
One spouse’s ability to pay and the other spouse’s need for support are the main two factors in determining alimony payment amounts.
Types of alimony in Florida
Florida recognizes different types of alimony, such as the following:
- Permanent alimony. Income differences and marriage duration are the primary factors that lead courts to award permanent alimony. Reasons for terminating permanent alimony are either death, remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony or cohabitation where the receiving spouse is financially supported. As far as eligibility to receive permanent alimony, courts do not generally award it in short-term marriages. Marriages that are seven years or less are short-term. Long-term marriages are 15 years or longer.
- Lump-sum alimony. While permanent alimony can be paid periodically, as in month to month, alimony can also be a one-time payment in a lump sum.
- Rehabilitative alimony. Courts award rehabilitative alimony when one spouse needs time to obtain an education or training to become self-supportive. People in short-term marriages can often receive rehabilitative alimony.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony. Bridge-the-gap alimony is similar to rehabilitative alimony in that it is a short-term alimony award, usually awarded to allow the other spouse time to become established after divorce. It may bridge the gap while finding a place to live or obtain a job.
- Temporary alimony. Temporary alimony is paid while the divorce is ongoing and until the court issues the final decree.
Florida does not have specific guidelines and calculations for alimony the way it does for child support. Alimony awards are left to the court’s discretion. However, just as courts allow child support modifications, modifying alimony payments is an option when financial, health, or other substantial changes in circumstances occur.
Contact our experienced Florida Alimony Attorneys
You can reach Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. online or at 561.687.5660 to arrange a consultation. We serve clients throughout Florida from our offices in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Orlando.