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Courts may order financial support after divorce

Spousal support may be ordered to address a spouse’s lack of financial resources when they end their marriage, especially if they were out of the workforce for many years. Many myths surround alimony and, like other family law matters, it has changed over the years, Florida courts can order this support in some circumstances.

Unlike past practices, either spouse may be awarded alimony after property division. The spouse seeking this support must show a need for alimony and that the other spouse can pay it.

Alimony factors

Courts consider many factors to assure that support is fair and assures justice. These include:

  • The spouses’ earlier standard of living.
  • The length of their marriage
  • The spouses’ age and physical and emotional health.
  • Each spouse’s financial assets and income-producing ability.
  • The time to acquire adequate education and training for employment and services.
  • Services involved in homemaking, raising children and the education and career assistance for the other spouse.

Alimony types   

Courts may award different types of spousal support. All of these have specific time and other limitations.

Bridge-the-gap support is awarded to assist a spouse with becoming single and to cover valid and short-term needs.

A spouse may receive rehabilitative alimony to help them develop their ability to support themselves by acquiring education or work experience or by reestablishing their earlier skills or credentials. The court must set forth a clear rehabilitation plan which sets forth the expectations for the recipient spouse.

Permanent periodic alimony may be granted to cover the spouse’s needs and life necessities as they existed during their marriage when a spouse does not have the financial ability to pay for these needs after their divorce.

Durational support may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. It is designed to give economic assistance to a spouse for a certain time period after a marriage of short or moderate time or after a marriage of long duration when there is no need for permanent support.

Determining alimony can be complicated and requires proof. An attorney can help spouses seeking or contesting this support.

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