Divorced spouses in Florida are sometimes ordered to make monthly or semi-monthly payments to their former husbands or wives. Alimony helps spouses who did not work while they were married or earned far less than their husbands or wives to make ends meet, and it can be agreed upon during divorce negotiations or ordered by a court. Family law judges in Florida do not follow a set formula when they are called upon to determine whether or not alimony should be ordered, but they do take several factors into consideration.
Factors that determine alimony in Florida
The two most important factors that family law judges in Florida consider when considering requests for alimony are the financial means of he paying spouse and the needs of the spouse seeking support. Other factors that could influence a judge’s decision include:
• The length of the marriage
• The ages of the spouses
• The medical needs of the spouses
• The contributions made by each spouse during the marriage
• The standard of living each spouse enjoyed before the marriage
• The income or income potential of each spouse
• The resources of each spouse
• The amount of training or education the receiving spouse will need to find appropriate employment
The types of alimony that can be awarded in Florida
Permanent alimony was eliminated in Florida when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1416 into law in June 2023, but judges in the Sunshine State can still order divorced spouses to pay lump-sum, durational, bridge-the-gap or rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony supports spouses while they receive education or training, and bridge-the-gap alimony provides funds while spouses make the transition to single life. Durational alimony is ordered for a set period of time, and lump-sum alimony is usually awarded when receiving spouses prefer to receive property instead of cash.
The divorce laws in Florida are designed to produce fair outcomes. These laws require marital property to be divided equitably, and they allow family law judges to order spousal support to prevent financial hardship. Permanent alimony has been eliminated in Florida, but divorced spouses can still receive support while they receive training or education or make the transition to single life.