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What Are Spousal Support or Alimony Laws in Florida?

Spousal Support or Alimony is a type of payment which has to be paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. It is usually ordered by one spouse and terms of payment are agreed upon in court. Spousal support has to be paid in order to lessen the economic burdens that may fall on the spouse earning a lower-wage. In most cases, the spouse earning lower income is also given custody of the child or children after a divorce. However, for that, they will be entitled to receive child support from the high-wage-earning spouse.

According to Florida laws, alimony is determined after the equitable distribution of the assets in a divorce case. After the division, the court will determine the amount of alimony that needs to be paid. The court will also decide who pays alimony to whom and how much. Depending on the wages of both spouses, spousal support can be granted to either the man or the woman. In other cases, the spouses may agree upon the alimony amount. They may also decide to agree the terms of the divorce themselves without going to court. Whatever both parties decide, it is advised to present their decisions in court so an official court order can be obtained. This ensures that no problems will arise later on if the spouse fails to or refuses to pay alimony later on. It will also require the receiving spouse to file a claim in court to enforce the alimony payment, which can be an expensive process.

Factors to consider when determining spousal support

A number of factors are taken into consideration by the court when determining alimony, such as the standard of living of both parties, the length of the marriage, the age of both parties as well as the physical and emotional state of both spouses. The court will also take a look at the income-earning capacity of each spouse and the financial resources available to each spouse. The court will also take a look at the assets owned by each spouse and whether or not those assets have the capacity to produce income.

If one spouse has less education or training and cannot find appropriate employment without getting proper education or training, the court will consider that too. If it is not possible for one spouse to go out and work, because they have to stay home and take care of the kids, the court will consider all the services they offer by homemaking, child rearing, and education etc. If one spouse is at fault, the court will assess all those factors when awarding alimony.

Different Types of Alimony in Florida

Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court can assign different alimony types in Florida. Any of the following types of alimony may be awarded:

  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
  • Durational Alimony
  • Lump-Sum Alimony
  • Permanent Alimony
  • Rehabilitative Alimony

If you are not sure how each of these types of alimony work, it is advised to speak with a Florida divorce lawyer who understands spousal support and alimony laws in Florida.