Divorce Attorney Scott J. Stadler

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I Need Money – Can I Get Alimony?

In a divorce case the court may award alimony to either party. The types of alimony my include bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent, or any combination of these forms of alimony.

After the court determines the division of assets and debts, the court will address the issue of alimony. The award of alimony is discretionary with the court. Alimony requires two separate determinations: (1) entitlement and (2) amount. The primary factors for entitlement are need for one spouse to receive alimony and the other spouses’ ability to pay alimony. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony and the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony the court must consider the enumerated statutory factors:

  1. Standard of living
  2. Duration of the marriage
  3. Each party’s age, physical health and emotional condition
  4. Financial resources
  5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties, and where necessary, the time necessary for education and training to find appropriate employment
  6. The contribution to the marriage, including but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education and career building of the other party
  7. The responsibilities each parent will have with regard to the minor children
  8. The tax consequences of nay alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable, non-deductible payment
  9. All sources of income available to each party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party
  10. The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties

Effective July 1, 2010 under Florida Statute 61.08 for the purpose of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than seven (7) years. A moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than seven (7) years but less than seventeen (17) years. A long term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. The length of the marriage is determined from the date of the marriage until the date of filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage.

It is within the court’s discretion to order a party to pay a reasonable amount for medical insurance for a spouse as part of an alimony award. The court may also order a spouse to maintain a life insurance policy as security for an alimony obligation.

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