How to Understand and Calculate Florida Alimony

Posted by Manuel A. Segarra IIIJan 29, 20150 Comments


A divorce settlement often includes an alimony agreement, which entails that one spouse pays the other for divorce during and after the proceedings. The individual that must pay alimony is usually determined by whether or not he or she makes more money than the other spouse. This spouse is then responsible for ensuring that a marital lifestyle is financially maintained for a period of time after the divorce settlement.

There are five types of Florida alimony: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, Durational and Permanent. Specific types of alimony are awarded based upon a judge viewing one of them as the most suitable for your situation. Alimony can range from periodic payments to a single lump sum. Some may even dismiss the thought of alimony payments entirely for something else of value.

If you are going through a divorce, Segarra & Associates would like to inform you about what you need to know regarding alimony and how to calculate it.

Five Types of Alimony

As mentioned above, there are five types of different alimony settlements. These include:

1. Temporary Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded while the divorce is impending. The individual who it is awarded to pays for financial support until the divorce becomes final.

2. Bridge-The-Gap Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded to an individual after the divorce has been finalized and typically lasts for two years. The objective of this alimony is to hold the other person over in the event of them trying to sell a house or receiving a college degree.

3. Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded solely for the purpose of assisting the former spouse while they are acquiring an education and/or training for the workforce.

4. Durational Alimony: This type of alimony is given only when other options are insufficient to meet both of the spouses' needs. One spouse will need to pay the other according to how many years they were married.

5. Permanent Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded when the other spouse is unable to be self-supportive.

Considerable Factors and Ability to Pay

If the spouse requesting alimony meets the standards required to receive payments, the judge must also consider if the other spouse can afford to make the payments. If the judge finds both the need and ability to pay, he or she must consider all these factors to determine which type of alimony to award and for how long:

  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • All sources of income for both spouses
  • Each of the spouse's earning capacity, educational history, vocational skills and employability
  • Time and expense required by the spouse seeking maintenance to achieve education and/or training
  • The marital standard of living
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse's age, physical and emotional condition
  • Each spouse's contribution to the marriage
  • Tax consequences due to alimony
  • The responsibilities each spouse will undertake for any children they may have had together

The Modification or Termination of Alimony

In terms of modifying alimony, there are only certain types of alimony that can be altered. These include:

  • Rehabilitative alimony
  • Durational alimony
  • Permanent alimony

When considering whether the alimony should be modified, the judge must take into account the following circumstances:

  • How long the two individuals have been known as a married couple
  • How long they have lived together in a permanent address
  • How long they have exhibited financial interdepence
  • The extent of mutual support between them
  • Their acts of valuable service for each other or each other's companies
  • Whether the two individuals have worked together to create or improve anything valuable
  • Whether they have purchased property together
  • If there is evidence that proves that the two individuals have made an agreement regarding property sharing or support

In terms of terminating alimony, the types that last for a while after the divorce (durational and permanent) are subject to termination if the recipient remarries or if one of the spouses passes away.

The Effects of Taxes on Alimony

Periodic alimony payments are typically taxable for the spouse receiving and tax-deductible for the spouse paying. It is possible for both spouses to structure the alimony in order to ensure the best-case scenario in regards to taxes.

At Segarra & Associates, P.A., we understand the matter of establishing alimony payments that will assist you in either jumpstarting your life again or helping your former spouse do so. Our goal is to ensure that you and your former spouse are able to come to an agreement about alimony with as little conflict as possible. Contact us today for a consultation!