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How does a court decide on questions of alimony?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2018 | Family Law, Firm News

When a Florida marriage ends, one spouse will often seek spousal support, also referred to as alimony, as part of the case. This is true whether it is a high asset divorce or a divorce of more modest means. Simply because there is a request on the part of one spouse to receive alimony does not mean it must be a high conflict divorce. However, even while some cases are relatively amicable and one spouse does not have a major issue paying alimony to the other, there are many cases where the situation is contentious and a dispute is likely. No matter what, knowing what factors will be considered is something everyone should understand.

The court will make factual assessments regarding the need for alimony and the other party’s ability to pay. Once it is decided that there is the need and the ability to pay, there are many factors that will go into how much it will be. The marriage will have had a certain standard at which the couple lived. That must be maintained when determining alimony. The length of the marriage will be a factor. The spouses’ ages and their physical and mental conditions will be weighed.

The parties will have financial resources and marital and non-marital assets. This can be important when alimony and its necessity is decided upon. Spouses will have varying degrees of education, skills and employability. When alimony is considered, this will factor in. The parties will have contributed to the marriage and, even if one spouse earned a living while the other stayed home as a homemaker, those contributions from the homemaker will be part of the decision on earning levels and alimony. If there are minor children, the alimony will reflect that reality. Taxes and income via investments are important. Finally, the court has the right to consider any factor to come to a fair decision.

For people getting a divorce, there is a seemingly endless litany of issues that must be addressed. One is alimony. Whether it is from the perspective of the spouse who will likely be paying alimony or the receiving spouse, having legal assistance is critical. Contacting a law firm that has experience in helping Floridians with their divorce is one of the most essential parts of a successful case.