How does Florida calculate spousal support?

When a couple faces divorce, the lower-earning spouse can often receive spousal support to establish and maintain an independent household. The spouses can agree on a fair support amount or ask the judge to make a determination. 

Explore the factors that influence spousal support calculations in Florida: 

Types of Florida alimony 

State law establishes several different alimony arrangements as follows: 

  • Lump-sum alimony, which constitutes a one-time transfer of property or cash 
  • Durational alimony, which one spouse receives once or twice a month for a limited time 
  • Permanent alimony, which persists until the receiving spouse marries someone else or dies 
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony, typically a lump sum or a two-year maximum regular payment for a specific purpose such as a home down payment to support an independent household 
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which helps the lower-earning spouse develop the job skills and education to become financially independent 

Factors in determining spousal support 

When you and your spouse come to an agreement on alimony independently or with the help of your attorneys, you should document this arrangement in your divorce paperwork. When you cannot agree, either spouse can ask the judge for spousal support. Florida courts will consider: 

  • The division of marital property 
  • The financial or nonmonetary contributions (e.g., housekeeping, child care) of each spouse 
  • The ability of the lower-earning spouse to attain financial independence with additional education or training 
  • The current and future projected income of each spouse 
  • The physical and mental health of each spouse 
  • The age of each spouse 
  • The length of the marriage 
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage 

While Florida does not consider fault when determining asset division, actions such as infidelity may influence the spousal support award. In addition, the judge will not create a spousal support arrangement that lasts longer than the marriage. For example, if your marriage lasted 15 years, alimony payments must end before the 15-year mark from divorce. 

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