In the state of Florida, spousal support is formally known as alimony. Alimony is money that one spouse pays to the other spouse either temporarily or permanently after the couple gets divorced. The payments are made to help the receiving spouse cover their living expenses.
The amount and duration of alimony payments are determined by a judge and depend on several factors, such as:
-The length of the marriage
-The ages of the spouses
-The health of the spouses
-The earning capacity of the spouses
-The standard of living during the marriage
Florida lawusses that there are four types of alimony: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent. Bridge-the-gap alimony is paid to help a spouse transition from being married to being single. It can be paid for a maximum of two years and cannot be modified. Rehabilitative alimony is paid to help a spouse get the education or training necessary to become self-sufficient. Durational alimony is paid to help a spouse maintain their standard of living for a set period of time after a short or moderate-term marriage. Permanent alimony is paid until death or remarriage and can be modified under certain circumstances.
In general, it takes between four and six months for a divorce to be finalized in Florida. Once the divorce is finalized, if either spouse has requested alimony, a judge will determine if spousal support should be awarded and, if so, how much and for how long.
The Length of Spousal Support in Florida
In Florida, spousal support is not awarded automatically. The decision to award spousal support, and how much to award, is made on a case-by-case basis after considering many different factors. So, how long does it take to get spousal support in Florida?
If you were married for a short time (less than 7 years), spousal support will generally last no longer than one-half the length of the marriage. For example, if you were married for 3 years, spousal support would generally last no longer than 18 months.
In long-term marriages, spousal support is often awarded for a period of time that will allow the supported spouse to attempt to establish him or herself in the job market, if that is feasible. The general guideline is that spousal support should continue for one-half the length of the marriage, although this is subject to change based on the particular facts and circumstances of each case, such as the ages of the parties and their respective incomes.
For marriages of more than 20 years in duration, there is a rebuttable presumption in favor of permanent periodic alimony. In order to overcome this presumption, the party seeking to terminate or modify permanent periodic alimony must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(1) There has been a substantial change in circumstances; and
(2) modification or termination of alimony is warranted.
The Factors That Affect the Length of Spousal Support in Florida
There is no definite answer to how long spousal support will last in Florida. The length of spousal support depends on various factors, such as the couple’s length of marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and the couple’s standard of living during the marriage. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the factors that affect the length of spousal support in Florida.
The Age of the Spouses
The age of the spouses is one of the factors that affect the length of spousal support in Florida. The court will consider the age of the spouses when making a decision about spousal support. The younger the spouses, the longer the period of spousal support. This is because it is assumed that the younger spouse will need more time to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.
The Health of the Spouses
The health of the spouses is often a relevant factor in the determination of how long spousal support will be paid in Florida. A spouse who is in good health and able to work is more likely to receive less spousal support for a shorter period of time than a spouse who is not in good health and unable to work.
The Ability of the Spouses to Support Themselves
A number of factors affect the amount and duration of alimony in Florida. The biggest factor is generally the need of one spouse for financial assistance and the ability of the other spouse to pay support. Other important factors include:
-The couple’s standard of living during marriage
-The length of time it would take for the supporting spouse to acquire education or training to find employment
-The age and physical condition of each spouse
-The financial resources of each spouse, including income, property, investments, and retirement accounts.
The Standard of Living During the Marriage
The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage is one of the key factors courts will consider when determining how long spousal support payments should last. Judges will look at various financial factors to decide what kind of lifestyle the couple was accustomed to and how long it would take for the spouse receiving support to become self-sufficient.
The Length of the Marriage
One of the first things a court will look at when deciding how much and for how long spousal support should be paid is the length of the marriage. If you were married for a short time, you will probably not receive support for an extended period, if at all. On the other hand, if you were married for many years, it is more likely that support will be ordered for a longer period of time.
The Contributions of Each Spouse to the Marriage
In Florida, the amount and duration of spousal support is generally based on the standard of living that the couple enjoyed during the marriage. The court will also consider the financial needs of each spouse, as well as each spouse’s ability to pay support. But there are other factors that may come into play when a court is making its decision about spousal support.
For instance, if one spouse Sacrificed his or her own career opportunities or education in order to further the other spouse’s career, the court may take that into consideration when making its determination about spousal support. Additionally, if one spouse supported the other spouse through school or while he or she pursued a career, that may also be taken into account by the court.
Another factor that may affect spousal support is the length of the marriage. In general, marriages that lasted for a longer period of time may result in a longer duration of support being awarded. This is because it may take longer for a spouse who has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time to re-establish him- or herself professionally.
The court will also look at each spouse’s age and health when making its determination about spousal support. For instance, if one spouse is older or has health issues that make it difficult for him or her to work, the court may award a longer duration of support.
Finally, the court may also consider any prenuptial agreements that were made before the couple got married. If there was a prenuptial agreement in place that addressed spousal support, the court may give weight to that agreement when making its decision.
The Income of Each Spouse
Income is probably the most important factor a court will look at when considering how much spousal support to award and for how long. The income of each spouse is determined by looking at their earning capacity. A spouse’s earning capacity is their ability to earn money based on their education, skills, and experience. The court will also consider any physical or mental limitations that may affect a spouse’s ability to earn money.
The court will look at the financial needs of each spouse and the financial resources available to each spouse. The financial needs of a spouse include their reasonable monthly expenses for housing, food, transportation, child care, and health care. The financial resources of a spouse include their income from all sources, such as employment, investments, and gifts.
The court will also consider the standard of living that the couple enjoyed during the marriage. If one spouse has a much higher income than the other spouse and they enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle during the marriage, the court may award spousal support for a longer period of time so that the lower-earning spouse can maintain a similar lifestyle.
The Employment Opportunities Available to Each Spouse
The factors that affect the length of spousal support in Florida are numerous and complex. The following is a list of some of the more common factors:
-The age of the spouses
-The employment opportunities available to each spouse
-The income of each spouse
-The standard of living that the couple enjoyed during the marriage
-The length of the marriage
-The amount of property and assets that each spouse owns
-The child custody arrangements
The Needs of Each Spouse
The first factor courts look at when determining the length of spousal support is the needs of each spouse. Obviously, the spouse who was financially dependent on the other during the marriage is going to have greater needs and, therefore, will require support for a longer period of time. The court will also look at things like the age of each spouse, their health, their employment history, and their earning potential. Essentially, the court wants to make sure that the supported spouse will be able to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage.
The Assets and Liabilities of Each Spouse
Before the court can decide how much spousal support to award, it must first consider the assets and liabilities of each spouse. This includes both separate and marital property. The court will look at each spouse’s income and earning capacity, as well as any financial contributions made during the marriage. The court will also consider any economic or non-economic losses suffered by either spouse during the marriage.
After considering all of these factors, the court will then determine how long spousal support should be paid. In general, the longer the marriage, the longer spousal support will be paid. However, there are other factors that can affect the length of spousal support, such as the age of the spouses, the health of the spouses, and whether or not either spouse is able to work.
The Custody of the Children
There are a few factors that come into play when the court is determining how long spousal support will last. The most important of these is the custody of the children. If the custodial parent has primary custody, then spousal support will last until the children are grown and out of the home. If the non-custodial parent has primary custody, then spousal support will last until the children are grown and out of the home or until the non-custodial parent remarries.
Other factors that affect the length of spousal support are:
-The age of the spouse receiving support
-The health of the spouse receiving support
-The ability of the spouse receiving support to find employment
-The standard of living during the marriage
The length of time it takes to get spousal support in Florida depends on many factors, including the specific circumstances of your case and the stage of your divorce proceedings. It is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps to protect your rights and interests.