Under Florida law, a court may award alimony to either party. An alimony award may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature. See Fla. Stat. § 61.08. Courts may also combine two or more forms of alimony.
A court's decision whether to award alimony is based primarily one spouse's need for alimony and the other spouse's ability to pay alimony. Courts can consider adultery when making an award of alimony.
In section 61.08, Florida Statutes, the Florida legislature set out eight factors for courts to consider when making an alimony determination:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) 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.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
To learn more about whether you may be entitled to an award of alimony, required to pay alimony, or entitled to an alimony modification, contact a Florida family law attorney.