The purpose of alimony is to provide financial support to a spouse if that spouse is in need of financial support. However, an alimony award will not be only based on the needs of one spouse. The ability of the other spouse to pay alimony will be considered as well.
When determining whether an alimony award is appropriate, first the Court must determine that a spouse needs alimony. They also must determine that the other party has the ability to pay alimony. Then the Court must determine the proper type and amount of alimony. In Florida, there is no formula used to determine the alimony amount.
Courts rely on the following factors in determining the alimony amount:
- The standard of living during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
- The earning capability and educational levels of the parties. If applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire education to enable the party to find appropriate employment.
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
- The responsibilities each party will have regarding any minor children they have in common.
- The tax treatment and consequences of any alimony award.
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
The Court can order the spouse who pays alimony to maintain a life insurance policy to secure the alimony award should he or she die before the alimony period ends.
Similar to issues concerning child custody/timesharing and child support, the parties can agree upon the length and amount of alimony. Tampa Bay Divorce Firm has extensive experience representing spouses who are seeking alimony, as well as those who are challenging it. Please contact Tampa Bay Divorce Firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida alimony attorney.