Calculating Florida Alimony: 5 Things to Know When Determining Spousal Support
Determining alimony, also known as spousal support, can be tough if you are trying to do it on your own without seeking the help of an Orlando alimony lawyer.
After a divorce in Florida, you may feel overwhelmed by multiple questions such as, “Will alimony be awarded in my case?” “How long will I receive/have to pay alimony?” “What is the amount of spousal support to be paid?” and recently – “What is alimony reform?“ and many more.
Luckily, you can calculate alimony in Florida if you understand the process of spousal support. Here are the five things to know when determining alimony in Florida.
- What is Alimony?
It is vital to know what constitutes alimony in the state of Florida. Spousal support refers to a legal obligation – either temporary or permanent – by one partner to provide financial support to their former or estranged spouse after a separation or divorce.
The main purpose of spousal support is to compensate for the negative economic consequences to one spouse after their marriage came to an end. When determining the amount of alimony payments following a divorce, Florida courts consider a wide range of factors (we will talk about them below).
- Is Spousal Support Appropriate in Your Case?
Alimony payments are not appropriate in 100% of all divorces. Before judges order an alimony award, they need to make sure that this is the most appropriate choice (meaning, one of the spouses qualifies to receive spousal support while the other one can afford it).
Contrary to what many people think, women do not fall on the receiving end in all alimony cases. As gender roles in the U.S. are changing rapidly, breadwinning mothers continue to be a norm in our country.
According to American Progress, nearly 70% of married mothers worked for pay in 2017, while more than 25% of families with children were headed by single moms.
Although it is not uncommon for a divorced father to face gender bias in Florida courts, he can benefit from seeking legal help of an Orlando men’s divorce lawyer to protect himself against prejudice and ensure that alimony, child support, child custody, and other aspects of divorce are handled fairly.
- How is Alimony Determined in Florida?
In Florida, a family law judge has the mandate of determining whether one of the spouses qualifies to receive alimony. Several factors will be considered by the judge to determine who will get the alimony payments.
Factors affecting alimony include the duration of the marriage, standards of living during and before the marriage, and who was to blame for the dissolution of marriage.
After spousal support has been awarded to one of the spouses, a paying or receiving spouse can modify alimony after a divorce or get their alimony obligations reduced retroactively.
- Which Factors Come into Play When Calculating Florida Alimony?
When determining how much alimony is appropriate following a divorce or separation, the judges consider these factors:
- The length of the marriage;
- Income disparity;
- Employment prospects;
- Child support, if any;
- Domestic violence disputes, if any;
- Age of spouses;
- Marital standards of living; and
- Whose fault caused or contributed to the divorce.
- How Long Will Alimony Be Paid?
After the duration of the marriage has been calculated, the court may grant alimony payments for the duration that does not exceed the length of the marriage.
How long one spouse will have to pay alimony to his or her ex-spouse depends on the duration of the marriage. Typically, marriages fall into three categories:
- A short-term marriage (which lasted less than seven years);
- A mid-term marriage (greater than seven years but not more than 17 years); and
- A long-term marriage (longer than 17 years).
Permanent alimony is typically awarded after long-term marriages.
Contact an Orlando alimony attorney at Sean Smallwood, P.A., to calculate your alimony payments right away. Call our offices at 407-574-6155 or fill out the contact form.
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.