During a divorce, a valid question for someone, especially one that has depended on his or her spouse financially, is, “What am I going to do now?” How does the court determine alimony? This issue also comes about when one party makes significantly less money than the other.
In a divorce, the court may grant alimony to either spouse. The court will first make a specific factual determination as to whether either spouse needs alimony and whether either spouse has the ability to pay alimony. Florida Statute Section 61.08 provides the factors for the Court to consider. Once the court has found that one party should be awarded alimony and that the other party can pay alimony, the factors it considers are, but not limited to:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the 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 for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party 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.
There are different types of alimony, including:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Durational alimony
- Permanent alimony
For more information regarding alimony, schedule a free consultation with the Tampa divorce attorneys of Hackworth Law. We will sit down and discuss potential options for you and your family during this very difficult time.