Jacksonville Alimony Attorneys
Spousal Support in Florida
Alimony, also known as spousal support, consists of payments made by one former spouse to the other. The purpose of alimony is to support an ex-spouse who used to rely on his or her partner’s income, but who can no longer do so because the parties are divorced. Spousal support may be temporary, long-term, or permanent.
Although alimony is intended to be a financial transaction, separating the emotional upheaval of divorce from the financial facts is often difficult. Whether you need spousal support or believe you’ll be the one paying, you don’t have to face an alimony arrangement on your own. The Jacksonville alimony attorneys at Farah & Farah can help.
How Do Florida Courts Calculate Spousal Support?
Florida family law courts calculate the need for and amount of spousal support payments based on the facts in each particular case. First, a court must make a specific finding that alimony is needed. Couples who have been together a few years or in which both spouses have regularly worked are less likely to face an alimony decision than those who have been together many years or in which one spouse has regularly relied on the other’s earning power, perhaps while staying home to raise children.
Once the court has found that support is necessary in a particular case, the court must determine what type and amount of alimony is appropriate. To do this, the court will consider factors like:
- the standard of living the couple shared during the marriage;
- the length of the marriage;
- the age and physical and emotional health conditions of each party;
- the financial resources each party has or will have when the divorce settlement is complete, including the income sources and investments each party has;
- the earning capacity, employability, skills, and education each party has;
- the contributions each party made to the marriage, including wages and benefits, childcare, support of the other spouse’s education or career, etc.;
- the tax effects of an alimony award on each party; and
- “any other factor necessary to do equity and justice” in the case.
The court will consider not only whether alimony should be awarded and what the amount will be, but also how long alimony payments should last. For instance, if one spouse needs support to finish his or her college degree or find a job, any alimony awarded may last only long enough for the person to complete these tasks. If a spouse is disabled and/or has never worked, spousal support may last much longer.
Alimony decisions in Florida are not sex-specific. Husbands and wives have equal rights to alimony, depending on the specifics of the situation.
Help at Every Step of Your Divorce
If you’re considering divorce or working your way through the settlement process, the Florida divorce lawyers at Farah & Farah can help. We’ll focus on your individual needs and help you handle alimony, child custody, and other issues in ways that work for you. Contact us today at (904) 263-4610 to learn more.