In Florida, courts have the power to award alimony in dissolution of marriage proceedings. What factors are considered when awarding alimony?
1. Is there a need for alimony by one spouse, and does the other spouse have the ability to pay?
Before going into the factors, the court must first make a specific factual determination as to whether either spouse has an actual need for alimony and whether either spouse has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance.
Does the spouse asking for support have an actual need for support (alimony); AND whether the other spouse has the ability to pay support (alimony)? If the answer to these questions is YES, then you move on to the next part of the Two Part Test:
2. Factors considered when determining the type of alimony to be awarded:
If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance (support) and that the other party has the ability ($$) to pay alimony or maintenance, the Court will then determine the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance. In doing so, the Court considers all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
- (a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
- (b) The duration of the marriage.
- (c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- (d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
- (e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
- (f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
- (g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
- (h) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
- (i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
- (j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
These factors are listed under Florida Statute § 61.08(2).
If you have questions about alimony, it’s best to ask a qualified family attorney. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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