Married couples who go through a divorce need to separate the life they shared together into two separate lives. Under Florida law, this can occur in many different ways, but generally people will need to determine issues such as child custody and parenting time if they have minor children. They will also have to divide their marital property. Finally, in some divorces couples will need to discuss the issue of spousal support or alimony as it is commonly called.
Factors used to determine spousal support
Not every divorce will involve one spouse paying the other one spousal support. The determination is based on analyzing a number of different factors of the unique circumstances of the marriage. Those factors include, but are not limited to:
- How long the couple was married
- Their standard of living during the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Their respective incomes or earning capacity
- The financial resources available to each spouse
- The amount of time it may take a non-working spouse to find a job or complete the education that they need to obtain gainful employment
The court analyzes these factors to determine if a spouse is in need of spousal maintenance first. If it is determined that a spouse will need spousal support the next step is to determine the type of spousal support needed.
Types of spousal support
There is rehabilitative support, which designed to be temporary until the spouse can obtain a job or other financial resources. It could also be that the support is in the form of a lump sum one-time payment so the other spouse can buy a car or a home. Then there is durational support, which means that a spouse will receive a set amount for a set period of time. Finally, there is permanent support, which will be paid monthly until the receiving spouse dies or remarries.
Spousal support determinations are very fact-specific. They are also most common in marriages where one spouse earns significant amounts of money and the other spouse either does not work or earns very little. However, even in these situations there are many different possibilities for the amount and duration of spousal support. Experienced attorneys understand how these factors are analyzed and may be able to guide one through the process.