What Factors does a Court Consider when Awarding Florida Alimony?
The end of a marriage can be a trying time, both emotionally and financially. For many people, fundamental aspects of their daily life will change dramatically, including where they live, how often they see their children, their day-to-day routine, and even whether or not they have a job. In some cases, one of the parties to a marriage has forgone pursuing a career in order to support his or her spouse, or may have left the workforce early in order to raise a family or manage the marital home.
Of course, the parties to a marriage both have financial needs, both during the marriage and afterwards, should it end. The law that governs the way marriages end recognize this fact, and provide for an equitable distribution of the marital assets upon dissolution. Additionally, Florida Courts are authorized by law to award additional financial support based on one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. This type of arrangement is referred to as “alimony” by Florida law, but can also be called “spousal support” or “maintenance.” There are several types of alimony that may be awarded, including bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, permanent, durational, or lump-sum alimony.
Several Factors Considered
In determining whether or how much alimony to award, Florida courts are specifically authorized to consider the adultery and the circumstances under which it occurred. If the court decides to award alimony to either party, it can consider all relevant factors, including the following:
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage;
- How long the marriage lasted;
- Each party’s age and physical condition;
- Each party’s financial resources, including the distribution of the marital and non-marital assets and debts;
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage, including caring for children, caring for the home, education, and career building of the other party;
- The earning potential, education, job skills, and employability of both parties and the time it would take either to obtain education or training that would allow either party to obtain employment;
- Each party’s responsibility with respect to children;
- The tax consequences of an alimony award;
- All sources of income available to either party; and
- Any other factor necessary to achieve equity and justice between the parties.
As one can see, courts have significant discretion in Florida in determining whether and how much alimony to award. As a result, it is important for anyone seeking alimony to present their case in the strongest light possible. An attorney who understands how Florida family courts operate can help collect and present evidence on your behalf in a way that will maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable result. In some cases, an attorney may even be able to negotiate an alimony settlement with your spouse without intervention by the court.
Contact a Tampa Family Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Anyone who is seeking to obtain or avoid an alimony payment should discuss their situation with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Contact an experienced Tampa Bay alimony attorney at All Family Law Group, P.A. by calling 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+