In Florida, alimony may be awarded as part of a dissolution decree when one spouse has a need for financial assistance and the other spouse has the ability to pay the alimony.
Unlike child support, there is no mathematical formula to calculate alimony. A judge will determine the amount and type of alimony to be awarded based upon the unique facts of each case.
This is not to say that a judge’s discretion will not be guided. Florida Statutes, s. 61.08, directs a court to consider:
• The standard of living established during the marriage; • The length of the marriage; • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party; • The financial resources of each party; • The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment; • The contribution of each party to the marriage (e.g., services rendered in homemaking, and child care); • All sources of income to either party; and • Any other factor to do equity and justice between the parties.
A judge needs to also consider:
• The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common; • 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; and • All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
Given the scope of the factual inquiry a judge must make regarding alimony, it is important to have an attorney help you in your dissolution case. Whether you are seeking alimony or opposing a request for alimony, you need to put on your best case.