Alimony in a divorce or dissolution case is based primarily on two important factors: need and an ability to pay. But what does that mean? Well, Florida courts have the authority to grant alimony (spousal support) to either party in a divorce or dissolution. That alimony award can be either temporary or permanent.
But before that happens, the spouse who is requesting alimony has to prove that he or she really needs to be supported and that the other spouse has the financial ability to pay that support.
Assuming that threshhold is reached, there are several other statutory factors that a court can then consider in determining what, if anything, would be a fair alimony award. Those factors include:
- The standard of living established during the marriage (the court will generally try to maintain that standard if reasonable).
- The duration of the marriage (a long term marriage will generally create a stronger presumption of dependence than a short term marriage).
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party (these factors often contribute to a court’s determination of a spouse’s ability to support himself or herself).
- The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each (as we saw above, the issue here is one of need versus ability to pay).
- When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment (the court may award a temporary or rehabilitative alimony sum for the purposes of helping a spouse to become self supporting in the near term).
- 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.
- All sources of income available to either party
Family Law Attorney Julie DiMaggio represents clients requiring assistance and advice in matters relating to alimony throughout the South Florida area including, but not limited to Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Coral Gables, Miami, Miami Beach, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Delray Beach.
If you need to know whether an award of alimony is appropriate as you begin a divorce or dissolution of your partnership or marriage, are currently in the process of figuring out a fair alimony settlement, or if you are having problems or issues with a court-ordered alimony arrangement, DiMaggio Law Offices can help.