What Do Florida Courts Consider When Awarding Alimony?
The end of a marriage can be an emotionally and financially trying time for many couples. For many, the fundamental aspects of their daily lives will change drastically. Some, for instance, will find themselves looking for a new place to live, or won’t be able to see their children as often. In some cases, one of the results of these changes is a need to obtain employment, or secure additional training to enable a re-entry into the workforce. These endeavors can, however, be expensive and one spouse may find him or herself in need of financial assistance, at least for the immediate future.
When couples are unable to reach an out-of-court agreement on whether one spouse will provide financial assistance to the other after the finalization of the divorce, a court will be tasked with making this determination on the parties’ behalf. To learn more about how these decisions are made, please reach out to our experienced Largo alimony lawyers today.
What is Alimony?
The parties to a marriage have financial needs, both during and after the end of that union. One of the ways that courts address this in Florida is by the equitable division of a couple’s marital assets. This, however, is not always enough to cover one spouse’s needs, in which case, a court can authorize additional financial support, the amount of which depends on the party’s need versus the other spouse’s ability to pay. This arrangement is known as alimony, or spousal support. There are actually a few different types of alimony arrangements, including:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony;
- Rehabilitative alimony;
- Durational alimony;
- Lump-sum alimony; and
- Permanent alimony.
Which kind of alimony is awarded in a particular case will depend on a number of different factors.
Factors that Could Affect Your Alimony Award
When determining whether, or how much alimony to award in a specific case, courts are directed to consider a variety of factors, including:
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage;
- Both parties’ ages and physical health;
- Each party’s financial resources (including any divorce-related settlement);
- How each party contributed to the marriage, including whether one spouse was the primary earner, or whether one party was responsible for childcare);
- Both parties’ education levels, job skills, employability, and earning potential;
- The time it would take either party to obtain the education or training needed for employment; and
- The sources of income available to both parties.
How these factors apply in a particular case will dictate whether someone receives an alimony award, and if so, the amount and form of that award. With so much at stake, it is critical for those who find themselves requesting or defending against a petition for alimony, to present their cases in the strongest possible light.
Call Today for Legal Help
Working with an attorney can maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable alimony-related decision. If you are seeking alimony, or don’t believe you have the resources to pay it, please call 727-683-1472 and speak with the dedicated Largo alimony lawyers at Cairns Law about your legal options.