Alimony is difficult to predict. While there are no exact guidelines for alimony in Florida law, the law list factors a judge must consider.
The most important issues the court will consider are:
The lifestyle the couple had prior to the divorce;
The length of the marriage; If the marriage is under 7 years, it is considered short term and alimony is much less likely. A marriage over 14 years will normally justify alimony. Marriages that lasted between the two numbers can go either way. The length of the marriage is only one issue. The judge will consider all of the issues before deciding;
The ability of one spouse to pay money and the need of the other spouse;
The amount of property to be divided;
Men versus women: Contrary to popular opinion, there is no legal preference if you are a man or woman. Either spouse can seek alimony. Courts are supposed to make decisions without regard to gender.
How much child support will I get or pay?
Child support is based on a chart, published by the state. The courts have some leeway. But in practice, child support is a predictable number that can be calculated by either party. The final number is based on the income of both spouses and who has majority time-sharing with the children.
Do I need my own attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney for divorce, child custody, support enforcement, or any other type of court procedure. Florida law allows you to act as your own attorney.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?
There are many factors that affect the time needed for a divorce. The most important factors are:
Whether it is a contested divorce - if you and your spouse agree on all issues, the typical divorce could be complete in as little as 3 months;
The amount of property and if there are children. More property and the presence of children increases the complexity and the amount of issues you and your spouse must agree on. Again, if all issues are uncontested, the divorce can be complete in as little as 3 months;
A contested divorce can take as long as 18 months. Some bitterly contested divorces take years. You and your spouse have complete control over the length of time it takes, depending on your desire and willingness to put this part of your life behind you;
Another important factor is where the divorce is filed. Time delays are greater for some counties and shorter for others. You must file your divorce where either spouse resides or the location of the marital home.
Additional resources provided by the author
For additional information, or to seek consult or representation of a Divorce Attorney, contact my Orlando Divorce Lawyer office for a free consultation at 407-377-6828.