In the state of Florida, alimony is governed under Florida Statutes Section 61.08. Pursuant to s. 61.08, in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, 0f which alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature or any combination of these forms of alimony. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both.
In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the Court shall first make a factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance.
If the Court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then s. 61.08 mandates that in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8), the Court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital 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 nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
Moreover, s. 61.08 establishes that for purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than seven (7) years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than seven (7) years but less than seventeen (17) years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of seventeen (17) years or greater. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.
Given the possible financial effects of an adverse alimony obligation, it is imperative for you to have an attorney who is well versed in the intricacies of alimony laws. At Segarra & Associates, P.A. , our legal team is experienced in the complexities of Florida alimony statutes and defenses.
Contact us for a consultation regarding your alimony obligation. We are committed to giving your case our full attention and are available now to speak with you. Call us today. (305) 742-5042.