At The Houser Law Firm, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida, we often handle the issue of alimony while representing a client through the divorce process.
What is alimony? Alimony is a legal obligation on a spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse during and/or after a divorce. Alimony is also referred to as "spousal support" or "maintenance."
For example, if, in a marriage, one party is the wage earner and the other party has not worked or earns significantly less than the other party during the marriage, the judge may order the wage earner to pay alimony for a set period of time. The alimony allows the other party to maintain the lifestyle he/she was accustom to during the marriage and provides that party the opportunity to become financially independent.
There are many factors the Court considers to determine an award of alimony. Some of those factors include the length of the marriage, lifestyle, wage disparity, whether one party may have stayed at home while the other worked, and, most importantly, the need and ability to pay.
Alimony is typically paid monthly, although the Court can also order alimony be paid in one lump sum. Generally, the alimony obligation is ongoing until a specific date, a party remarries, Court ordered modification, or the death of a party.
To learn discuss alimony as it pertains to your case, call The Houser Law Firm, P.A. and schedule a consultation.
Florida Statute Sec. 61.08 governs alimony distribution. When determining alimony, the Court will consider the requesting party’s need for alimony and the paying party’s ability to pay alimony.
Factors used to determine alimony in Florida
Included herein is the section of the Florida Statutes setting forth the factors used to determine alimony in Florida. In determining a proper award of alimony or maintenance, the court shall consider all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) 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.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.