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When is a spouse entitled to alimony in a Florida divorce? P.1

Child custody and property division are typically the most important issues that are dealt with in the divorce process, though in some cases alimony can also be an important issue. This is especially true in cases where a former spouse, for whatever reason, faces the strong prospect of difficult financial circumstances after divorce.

Alimony can be important, for instance, in situations where: one spouse gave up a career during the marriage and has a limited ability to support him- or herself after divorce; a spouse became disabled during the marriage and is unable to maintain a comparable lifestyle after divorce; or in cases where a couple has been married a long time and divorce makes it particularly difficult for one spouse to adjust to the necessary changes. The circumstances in which alimony is awarded vary. 

There are a variety of factors courts consider when determining whether a spouse is entitled to alimony. First, the court has to determine whether there is a need for alimony, as well as an ability to pay. If there is both need and ability to pay, the court has to consider all relevant factors to determine the appropriate type and amount of alimony.

These factors include: the couple’s standard of living; the length of the marriage; the age and health of the parties; the financial resources of each party; each party’s education, vocational skills, and earning capacity; contributions each party made to the marriage, especially child care, homemaking, and to the other spouse’s career; and each party’s responsibilities to minor children of the marriage.

There are several types of alimony that can be awarded in Florida. In our next post, we’ll take a brief look at them. 

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