Calculating Alimony/Spousal Support in the State of Florida

Will I Receive Spousal Support?

While no attorney can say for sure whether or not you will receive spousal support during your divorce, an attorney from The Law Place can certainly assess your particular circumstances and determine how best to obtain the support you need and deserve. The state of Florida is considered to be somewhat more lenient regarding the award of spousal support than many other states, and is one of the few remaining states which awards permanent spousal support. There are, however specific stipulations in place, detailed in Florida statutes, which show how spousal support is awarded and calculated. While Florida spousal support laws do not provide a definitive guide to alimony calculation, your attorney from The Law Place will be able to get a good idea of how much spousal support you are entitled to.

The Types of Available Spousal Support in the State of Florida

A number of factors will determine whether you will receive Sarasota spousal support as well as how much. Florida spousal support types include: permanent, temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational, and these payments may come in the form of periodic payments or one lump sum. While Florida is a no-fault divorce case, the judge in your case is allowed to consider adultery on the part of either spouse when determining an equitable spousal support award. If you and your spouse agree between yourselves regarding the terms and conditions of spousal support, the judge will likely have no part in that decision, however most couples are unable to agree on this sensitive issue. The following contains more detail regarding the types of Florida spousal support you may be entitled to:

Temporary alimony can be awarded during the time your divorce is pending, should you require financial support during the process, however temporary spousal support automatically ends once your divorce is final.
Bridge-the-gap spousal support will begin once your divorce becomes final, but is generally for a very short duration—with a maximum time limit of two years. The purpose of bridge-the-gap spousal support is to assist you in meeting short-term financial needs such as living expenses or to allow you to complete an educational program which will improve your future employment prospects.
Rehabilitative spousal support has a specific purpose of allowing you to acquire education or training necessary to achieve better employment in the future. If you are requesting rehabilitative spousal support you will be required to submit a plan to the court which thoroughly outlines the financial resources and time required to complete your educational training.
Durational alimony can be awarded when other types of support are simply not sufficient to fully meet your present and future needs. The maximum allowable time for durational spousal support is equal to the length of your marriage—if you were married for nine years, then you would be unable to receive durational spousal support for any longer than nine years.
Permanent spousal support can be awarded when the judge believes your economic needs are permanent, however the judge is required to state the reasons he or she believes permanent spousal support is warranted and why another form of spousal support would not be reasonable when the facts of your case are taken into consideration. An award of permanent spousal support takes the length of your marriage into consideration as well as other specific factors and an award of permanent spousal support may be modified or terminated when a substantial change of circumstances (for either party) exists. Permanent alimony is meant to provide for the financial needs of a spouse who lacks the ability to become self-supporting and will attempt to duplicate the marital standard of living as closely as possible.

Factors Involved in Determination of Spousal Support

The judge in your case will determine whether you will receive spousal support based on factors related to need as well as your spouse’s ability to pay. In other words, even if you have a substantiated need, your spouse may not have the ability to pay support. If paying spousal support would leave your spouse with significantly less net income than you, it is unlikely the court would award such support barring exceptional circumstances. Under Florida law, the determining factors for an award of spousal support include:

• The standard of living you and your spouse enjoyed during your marriage
• The length of your marriage
• Your age, level of physical health and emotional condition as well as your spouse’s age, level of physical health and emotional condition.
• The time and expense required to seek employment, or sufficient training for employment.
• All the sources of income both you and your spouse have access to, including any investment income.
• Your financial resources, including separate property and awards of marital property.
• Your earning capacity, educational history, vocational skills and relative employability, as well as those issues related to your spouse.
• The contributions made by you and your spouse to the marriage. Homemaking, child care, education and helping the other spouse build his or her career are all considered valuable contributions.
• Tax consequences of an award of spousal support
• The responsibilities you and your spouse will have for the minor children you share.

Adultery is most often considered in the award of spousal support when one spouse’s infidelity resulted in financial harm to the other. As an example, suppose your spouse spent considerable marital resources taking trips with or buying extravagant gifts for the person he or she committed adultery with. Such actions could persuade a judge that you were entitled to a larger amount of spousal support.

How an Attorney from The Law Place Can Help

An experienced attorney from The Law Place will thoroughly assess your individual circumstances, then give you an idea of whether you are entitled to spousal support. We have extensive experience helping people just like you make it through a tough divorce. We are highly knowledgeable regarding Florida laws surrounding spousal support and will use that knowledge for your benefit. Call an attorney from The Law Place today.

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