Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support or maintenance is a legal mechanism, whereby one spouse can be ordered to financially support the other spouse during and subsequent to the divorce of the parties. Pursuant to the plain language of Florida Statute §61.08, before a court can order one party to pay alimony to the other party the court must first determine whether one party has the need for alimony and the other party has the ability to pay. Then, if the court determines that one party should pay alimony to the other, the type, amount, and duration of such alimony is determined by:
- the standard of living established during the marriage;
- the duration of the marriage;
- the age and the physical and emotion condition of each party;
- the financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each;
- the earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment;
- 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;
- the responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common;
- 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 non-taxable, non-deductible payment;
- all sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party; and
- any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Moreover, Florida Statute §61.08(1) states that “The court may consider the adultery or either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.”
Types of Alimony:
There are several different types of alimony in the state of Florida. We at Butash & Donovan are extremely familiar with each type of spousal support, and he can help you to ensure that your rights are upheld in your case. With any divorce, there are many different factors that have to be juggled and arranged if a settlement agreement is to be reached. Sean Donovan is experienced in working with individuals seeking divorce to help them achieve the smoothest transition possible.
The various forms of alimony include:
- Bridge-The-Gap Alimony: The purpose of bridge-the-gap alimony is to provide support regarding legitimate, identifiable short-term needs to allow one party to transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed two years.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to assist one party to gain the ability of self-support through the development of previous skills or the through education, training, or work experience to develop such skills.
- Durational Alimony: The purpose of durational alimony is to provide alimony to one party for a specific period of time when permeant periodic alimony is inappropriate. The term of duration alimony may not exceed the duration of the marriage.
- Permanent Periodic Alimony– The purpose of permanent periodic alimony is to provide one party with the permanent support regarding the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties. Permanent periodic alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony; and may be modified or terminate based upon the existence of a supportive relationship.
- Alimony, Pendente Lite: The purpose of alimony, pendent lite, is to provide support for one party to a divorce while the divorce case is being litigated. Alimony, pendent lite, terminates when the court enters the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage in the divorce case.
As one may guess, there are countless arguments for and against each of the forgoing forms of alimony based upon the unique facts of each divorce case. We are very experienced in using case law, statutes, and the facts to zealously advocate for each of our clients with the goal of achieving the best possible outcome for them.