Some married couples decide that one spouse will work full-time outside of the home while the other spouse works-part time or stays home full-time to take care of household. However, if a couple gets a divorce, it can be difficult for the spouse who earns less to maintain the lifestyle they had become accustomed to during the marriage without the income from the higher-earning spouse.
To help provide financial support to a lesser earning spouse, the court may award alimony, which will require the higher-earning spouse to pay a certain amount to the lesser earning spouse every month, on a temporary or permanent basis.
Factors to consider to determine alimony
Courts will consider a number of different factors when determining whether to award alimony, how much to award, and how long to award it. These factors may include
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
- Each spouse’s age, physical and mental health, and financial resources
- Each spouse’s earning capacity (e.g. job skills, educational level, work experience)
- Post-marriage responsibilities (e.g. if one spouse is named primary custodian of child in the divorce)
Types of alimony
Under Florida law, the court may award various types of alimony depending on its evaluation of the above factors. The main types of alimony include:
- Permanent alimony – This type of alimony is typically reserved for spouses with permanent disabilities who are unable to work.
- Durational alimony – This type of alimony is awarded for a set period of time, that is shorter than the length of the marriage.
- Rehabilitative alimony – This type of alimony is meant to help a spouse develop job skills or acquire the education necessary to become self-sufficient.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony – This type of alimony is meant to support a spouse on a short-term basis and help provide necessities for a spouse on a short-term basis as they transition into single life.
A divorce attorney can give you an idea of how much alimony you are entitled to and help you through the rest of the divorce process.