An Overview of the Four Key Factors that Affect Alimony in Florida
Following a marital separation, one spouse may be required to provide ongoing financial support to their former partner. Known as spousal support, spousal maintenance, or alimony, these payments are not guaranteed in Florida. Alimony is not awarded in every case. How much (if any) alimony will be granted depends on a number of different factors. In this article, our Clearwater alimony lawyer discusses the four most important things that affect spousal support awards in Florida.
- The Length of the Marriage
The first factor to consider is the duration of the marriage. The fundamental principle is relatively straightforward: The longer a marriage lasts, the more likely a Florida court is to award spousal support.
Under Florida’s alimony statute, a marriage lasting less than seven years is generally considered to be a short-term marriage, one lasting between seven and seventeen years is a moderate-term marriage, and a marriage lasting more than seventeen years is a long-term marriage.
- The Standard of Living During the Marriage
One of the most important things to know about alimony in Florida is that it is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. Our family law courts are instructed to consider the standard of living that each party became accustomed to during their marriage. If only one partner would be able to keep up with that standard following the divorce, alimony may be appropriate.
- The Future Financial Prospects of Each Spouse
Florida courts will also review the educational background, career prospects, earning potential, and overall financial position of each party. If a large gap exists, then the court may deem it equitable to award alimony in order to limit the disparity. Once again, the specific circumstances of the case matter. It is not as simple as looking to each partner’s current income level. The totality of the circumstances matter.
- Each Partner’s Contribution to the Marriage
Finally, Florida courts are empowered to consider each partner’s contribution to marriage and family. The greater the personal sacrifice, the more likely that a spousal support will be awarded. As an example, imagine that one partner voluntarily gave up their career to stay home and take care of the children. It is not an uncommon scenario. Under Florida law, that is considered to be a personal contribution for the benefit of the marriage. As such, it could serve as the basis of additional financial consideration in the form of spousal support.
Call Our Clearwater, FL Alimony Attorney for Immediate Help
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our Florida alimony lawyer has the skills, knowledge, and expertise to protect your rights and help you find the best solution. If you have any questions about the factors that affect alimony awards, we are more than happy to help. To arrange a completely private initial consultation, please contact us now. We handle spousal support cases throughout the region, including in Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, and Pinellas Park.