As the Orlando alimony attorneys at Holden & Darby in Tavares, Lake County, walk you through your divorce, they will also help you determine if you are eligible for alimony, and how much alimony you require.
Why length of marriage matters
In Florida, one of the determining factors in calculating alimony is the length of time you and your spouse were married. Florida has three definitions of marriage length. They are:
- Short-term marriage – fewer than seven years
- Moderate marriage – between 7-17 years
- Long-term marriage – More than 17 years
The longer the couple has been together, the more likely a court will order spousal maintenance for the under-earning spouse. These types of alimony are more likely to be permanent rather than rehabilitative.
Five types of alimony in Florida
In Florida, alimony can get complicated. There are five different types of Florida, and a judge may award any of these types based on the merits of the case. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced, professional and ethical Clermont family lawyer on your side. The Lake County divorce attorneys at Holden & Darby in Tavares have a combined 35+ years of experience in family law and will represent the best interests of you and your family.
Here is a rundown of the five types of alimony in Florida:
Alimony isn’t just for after your divorce. If a judge awards alimony during the divorce process, it’s known as temporary alimony, or alimony pendente lite. This occurs when the court decides a spouse needs alimony during the divorce process, and it typically ends once a divorce is final.
This is a type of short-term alimony that a court may award if one spouse is working toward a certain financial goal, such as selling a house, obtaining gainful employment, etc. Bridge-the-gap alimony typically begins after a divorce is final, but it can last for no more than two years.
If one spouse is attending classes or training in order to obtain gainful employment, a court may award rehabilitative alimony. The recipient of rehabilitative alimony must submit paperwork showing the cost and time associated with the education or training he or she is seeking.
If a court determines that temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony or rehabilitative alimony isn’t enough to cover a spouse’s financial needs, it may award durational alimony. This alimony will last for a time equal to the length of the marriage, so in the case of divorce following a seven-year marriage, durational alimony would end after seven years.
If a judge decides none of the other four types of alimony are sufficient, they may award permanent alimony, and they must state reasons why permanent alimony is the only fair choice. Permanent alimony is awarded when one spouse is not capable of economically supporting himself or herself.
How a court determines alimony in Florida
Florida Statute 61.08 lists the following factors that a court or judge may use in determining whether or not one of the five types of alimony will be awarded in a divorce:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- The age and physical/emotional condition of each spouse.
- Each spouse’s financial resources, including marital and non-marital assets and debts.
- Each spouse’s earning capacity, educational level, vocational skill and employability.
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including items such as homemaking, child care, education and career building.
- The responsibilities of each party with regards to any and all minor children.
- The tax consequences of an alimony award.
- All income sources available to either spouse.
Schedule a consultation with a Lake County divorce attorney
The Lake County divorce attorneys and family lawyers at Holden & Darby have dedicated their practice to aiding individuals and families with legal documentation and representation. We handle a variety of cases and have the experience necessary to help you navigate the tricky process of alimony.
Whether you live in Lake, Sumter, Orange, Seminole, Polk, Osceola, Marion, Citrus or Hernando counties, our legal team will represent you to their fullest. Our offices are centrally located in Tavares, the county seat of Lake County.
Call or email us today so you can schedule your consultation.