This blog recently discussed possible alimony reform and suggested changes to Florida’s alimony laws. So what is alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support, and why is it an important concern for so many divorcing spouses? Alimony is an award of financial support following the divorce to one divorcing spouse from the other which is why it can be a significant, and sometimes controversial, concern for divorcing couples.
One of the goals of the family law system is that both spouses are able to move forward following the divorce in a financially stable manner. Alimony may be needed to help one spouse who remained home during the marriage to maintain the household or care for children and was not a part of the work force during the marriage. In addition, the family court attempts to help the divorced couple maintain a standard of living as close as possible to the one enjoyed during marriage.
Alimony is determined by considering a number of factors. The family court will consider the age, physical condition, emotional states, and financial conditions of each of the spouses; the length of the marriage; the couple’s standard of living enjoyed during the marriage; the ability of one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony; and the length of time the recipient spouse will need for education or training in order to become self sufficient. The duration of alimony can also vary based on the circumstances of the spouses and state law and can range from rehabilitative alimony to permanent alimony.
There is a lot to know about alimony and consider when couples have decided to divorce. It is an understandably significant concern for both divorcing spouses so it can only help for them to be as familiar as possible with how alimony is awarded.