Under Florida law, a family court judge has broad discretion to award alimony or spousal support from one divorcing spouse to another on either a temporary (“rehabilitative alimony”) basis or permanently. Under certain conditions, a divorced spouse paying alimony can seek an order for modification or termination of the obligation based on a substantial change of circumstances including:
- Death of the former spouse
- Remarriage of the former spouse
- Cohabitation of an unmarried former spouse
If you need advice about your rights and responsibilities concerning alimony and the modification of any current obligation, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at the Borras Law Firm in Miami, Florida.
The family law practice at the Law Offices of James E. Borras provides legal services to the greater South Florida area including Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Homestead, and Palm Beach County. Please contact me for a free legal consultation.
Alimony or Spousal Support Awards – Factors Used
Courts in Florida award alimony after evaluating one spouse’s need for financial support versus the other spouse’s ability to pay such support. In Florida, courts have broad discretion to tailor support awards to each family’s needs. Among the factors Florida courts may consider when awarding alimony, are:
- Length of the marriage
- Age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties
- Financial resources of both parties
- Each parties’ earning capacities and skills
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage including child rearing and assisting in the career building of the other party
- Standard of living during the marriage
Recently Florida has begun acknowledging the responsibilities each party will have after the divorce to the children born of the marriage and the tax consequences to both parties resulting from an award of alimony.
Types of Alimony in Florida
Florida now recognizes several different types of alimony, including:
- Temporary alimony – a non-permanent award during divorce proceedings
- Permanent alimony – normally reserved for long-term marriages of more than 17 years
- Rehabilitative alimony – where one spouse may wish to finish their education or job training in order to be more employable
- Lump sum alimony – which may be awarded from the proceeds of the division of sale of property
- Durational alimony – which may be awarded monthly for a period of time no longer than the length of the marriage
- Bridge-the-gap or transitional alimony – a short-term solution which can allow one spouse the opportunity to financially transition from married to single life.