Spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, is the payment that one spouse makes to the other during and/or after a divorce. It is an option that the law provides to either of the spouses. Through this mechanism, the spouse having better financial resources gives support to the spouse who has little or no financial resources for supporting him or herself. The marriage duration plays a significant role in determining the level or type of alimony a spouse may receive.
Types of Spousal Support (Alimony)
There are five types of spousal support available under Florida law[i]:
The two parties are allowed to negotiate the alimony award terms, including support amount, duration, and type. However, if they are unable to reach a consensus, the judge is responsible for assessing the circumstances and making a decision.
Factors that Play a Role in Awarding Spousal Support
Factors that the court may consider while deciding about the alimony include[ii]:
- The duration of the marriage
- The living standard of each spouse during marriage
- The spouse age and any physical, mental, or emotional impairments that limit economic needs and earning capacity
- The financial condition of each spouse
- Whether each spouse needs additional career training or education to get a job or not
- What type of contributions each spouse used to make during the marriage duration, including financial and other responsibilities, such as homemaking, income, child care, assisting in career building, etc.