Divorce is rarely an amicable situation. The bitterness that can arise makes everything seem unfair. When one spouse must support another after the breakup of a marriage, well, it’s something that is not welcomed. However, there are situations when one spouse, in the process of making a home and family, sacrifices at his or her expense, leaving them unable to properly provide for themselves. This where alimony comes in.
There are a few types of alimony: Permanent, Durational, Rehabilitative and Bridge the Gap. Florida Statute 61.08 Which a the court would decide is applicable, depends on several reasons.
Three big factors for the court’s consideration:
Need: What is your need for alimony? Looking at all of your available income streams and expenses, do you have a deficit? If so, how much is it? It is often helpful for clients to complete two financial affidavits. One reflecting pre-dissolution living and another reflecting post-dissolution living.
Ability to pay: What is your spouse’s ability to pay alimony? Looking at all of your spouse’s available income streams and expenses, does your spouse have the ability to pay alimony? Is there an available surplus?
Length of marriage: The longer the marriage, the longer alimony award you could be granted.
Short-term marriage – between 0-7 years.
Moderate Length Marriage – Between 7-17 years
Long-term marriage – 17 years +
Other factors in considering alimony claim:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age, physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party; including the nonmarital and marital assets, and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable them to find appropriate employment.
(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage; including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education and career building of the other party.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
(i) All sources of income available to either party; including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Marriage often involves a mutual sacrifice of two people to build a good life together, wherein compromises are made. Often, one spouse depends on the other financially, because he or she is willing to do the things necessary to support a loving household, at the expense of career, education opportunities or ability to properly care himself or herself. After sacrificing so much, the court must decide how to compensate the lower, so each person can live well. This is alimony.
If you are going through a divorce and need an experienced and compassionate attorney to help you navigate the process, call Barnett Woolums at 727-525-0200 for a free consultation.