Alimony is one of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce.
Some cases can carry on for years because spouses cannot agree on alimony.
Under Florida Statute 61.08, the amount of Alimony you can receive from your divorce depends on several factors starting with:
- Need: First, the court must determine whether or not you or your spouse needs spousal support (aka – alimony).
- Ability: Second, the court must determine whether or not you or your spouse has the actual ability to pay spousal support.
Once the court has found need for alimony by one spouse and an ability to by that alimony in the other spouse, then the court must consider all relevant factors to determine exactly how much alimony should be paid.
Generally, the court considers approximately ten key factors in assessing how much alimony should be paid from one spouse to the other, which are listed in Florida’s alimony statute 61.08.
Most Common Types of Alimony Received in Florida Divorces
There are also five different types of alimony which will impact the total amount of alimony you may receive.
The five types of alimony include:
- Permanent Periodic: This is alimony paid to a spouse until that spouse remarries, or until the paying spouse dies. This type of alimony is usually only available in cases of long-term marriage.
- Durational: This is alimony paid to a spouse for a short or moderate period of time. As such, this is the type of alimony awarded to spouses of short-term or moderate-term marriages. The only limitation to durational alimony is that you cannot receive durational alimony for a period of time longer than your marriage itself.
- Bridge-the-Gap: This is alimony paid to a spouse to help them “bridge-the-gap” between married and single living. Usually, this type of alimony is only paid for a short period of time.
- Lump Sum: This is alimony paid to a spouse in installments. Sometimes spouses agree to make a one-time lump sum payment of alimony, other times spouses choose to make installment payments over a specific period of time. In either case, lump sum alimony cannot be modified at any time.
- Rehabilitative: This is alimony paid to a spouse for the purposes of helping the receiving spouse become self-sufficient by developing new skills, obtaining an education, or work experience. The receiving spouse must demonstrate a plan for becoming self-sufficient, and this type of alimony is generally short in duration.
As you can see, the length of your marriage also impacts how much alimony you’re eligible to receive. Usually, the longer you’re married, the longer you are entitled to receive alimony. Florida statue 61.08 outlines what constitutes a short-term vs. moderate-term vs. long-term marriage.
You Can Agree to Any Type of Alimony
You can also negotiate alimony beyond, or different from the statutory guidelines if you and your spouse agree to different terms through a settlement conference or divorce mediation.
In Central Florida, you may also request Temporary alimony immediately after attending mediation if you and your spouse fail to come to an agreement. Temporary alimony allows you to obtain court ordered spousal support while your divorce is in progress, and you’re waiting for a final determination on your alimony issue.
Remember, obtaining alimony in divorce is not automatic. You must ask for alimony in your divorce petition or divorce counter-petition to be awarded alimony by the court. Failure to ask for alimony could result in you waiving any ability to get alimony after your divorce is finalized.
Alimony involves several complicated tax, income, and even child support issues, so it’s important to discuss your options with an experienced divorce attorney who can provide you with guidance in this area.
To learn more about how much alimony you may receive in your Orlando divorce case click here to request a consultation or call 407-872-3161 to speak with someone from our team today.