Your divorce can have far-reaching effects on your life, and one area where you may see the biggest impact is your finances. The State of Florida recognizes that some people need help supporting themselves after a divorce. In your case, the family court may rule that your former spouse has to pay alimony to you.
Courts typically award spousal support if a divorce will cause you to experience economic hardship. The Florida Legislature says that a court should consider several factors before awarding alimony.
The length of the marriage
One important consideration is how long the marriage lasted. Florida officials consider a short-term marriage to be one that lasts fewer than seven years. If the marriage lasted between 7 and 17 years, this is a moderate-term marriage. A long-term marriage is one that lasted longer than 17 years.
A family court sometimes awards a higher amount of alimony if you and your spouse had a moderate or long-term marriage. This is because when couples are together for long periods of time, they often become accustomed to a certain standard of living. After a divorce, you may not be able to maintain this standard of living by yourself.
Your education level and job
The court also considers your ability to earn an income. You may have taken time away from the workforce to care for your children, or you may have worked part-time. In these situations, you might decide to go back to school to earn an additional degree or further job training. You may be awarded alimony so that you can bear the cost of receiving this education.
Your situation will dictate the specifics of alimony
The amount of time that you receive spousal support usually depends on your situation. Some courts award permanent alimony, while others order alimony payments for a specific amount of time.
Simply put, alimony is not a guarantee in every divorce and the amount and duration of payments vary on the specifics of your situation. Unlike child support, a pre-determined formula does not calculate alimony payments. Working closely with a family law attorney can help you understand what to expect and how to advocate for your needs.