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In a divorce proceeding, the court may award "alimony" or "maintenance" to either party who demonstrates the need for financial assistance and the other party's ability to pay same.
How is Alimony Determined?
“Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.08(2)(a), when determining an award of alimony or maintenance, the court must consider all relevant factors including, but not limited to:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
- 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.
- 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.
- The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
- 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.
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.”
TYPES OF ALIMONY
“Bridge-the-gap” alimony may be awarded to a party, for a period of no more than two years, to help make the transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage of the party who is receiving it. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony is non-modifiable.
“Rehabilitative” alimony may be awarded to a party who requires financial assistance while he or she completes a specific rehabilitative plan in order to attain financial independence. The rehabilitative plan would enable the party to either restore his or her previous skills and qualifications or obtain the training and education needed to acquire new skills and qualifications. Under certain circumstances, rehabilitative alimony is modifiable and can be terminated.
“Durational” alimony may be awarded to a party who requires financial assistance for a specific period, not to exceed the duration of the marriage. Durational alimony is usually awarded in a short-term or moderate duration marriage or in a long-term marriage in which the party has no continuing need for support and an award of permanent periodic alimony would be inappropriate. Durational alimony terminates “upon the death of either party or upon remarriage of the party receiving alimony” and may only be modified or terminated based upon “a substantial change in circumstances”.
Permanent alimony may be awarded to a party who is financially unable to provide for his or her own needs, in accordance with their life style during the marriage. Permanent alimony is usually awarded in long-term marriages only. However, permanent alimony may be awarded in marriages of short or moderate duration in some circumstances. Permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon remarriage of the receiving party” and may only be modified or terminated based upon “a substantial change in circumstances” or upon the existence of a “supportive relationship”.
“Lump Sum” Alimony:
“Lump sum” alimony may be awarded to a party in situations where ongoing monthly payments are inappropriate or impracticable. Lump sum alimony may also be awarded out of marital assets.
Temporary alimony may be awarded to a party who requires financial assistance during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Temporary alimony terminates immediately upon the divorce becoming final.
Family Law Lawyer Steven L. Winig, Esq. is a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and is licensed to practice before all
Florida State Courts, as well as the United States District Courts for Southern and Middle Florida.
Winig Law routinely handles cases throughout Palm Beach County including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington,
Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach and surrounding areas.
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