Will Alimony Be Awarded In My Divorce?

If you are going through a divorce, one question you may ask yourself is whether you will be entitled to alimony payments ― or alternatively, be required to pay them. Well, the answer is rarely ever simple, as Florida courts can consider several different types of alimony obligations depending on the circumstances.

Whether you need legal assistance in obtaining alimony or defending against it, the team of legal professionals at Wanda J. Morgan, P.A., can help. With over 13 years of legal experience, lawyer Wanda J. Morgan understands the intricacies of Florida alimony law, and she will put this experience to work for you. To speak to a knowledgeable and skilled alimony attorney today, email us online or call us at 850-613-6923. We serve clients in Okaloosa County, including those in Shalimar, Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding area.

Understanding Alimony Laws In Florida

Also known as spousal support, there are five different types of possible alimony obligations under Florida law, including:

  • Temporary alimony: This form of alimony may be awarded while the divorce is pending, and typically ends when the divorce becomes final.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony is designed to help the recipient transition to single life and meet his or her short-term needs. Bridge-the-gap alimony only lasts for a short time, and can never continue for more than two years.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: Rehabilitative alimony is used to help the recipient acquire or redevelop the skills or education necessary to become self-sufficient.
  • Durational alimony: The purpose of durational alimony is to provide economic assistance to the recipient spouse for a set period of time. It cannot last longer than the duration of the marriage, and terminates when the recipient remarries or either spouse dies.
  • Permanent alimony: As its name suggests, permanent alimony can last indefinitely, and is only awarded when the recipient lacks the ability to meet his or her needs.

Before determining what type of alimony to award, however, the court must first determine if alimony is even warranted in the first place. For instance, the court will initially examine whether the recipient spouse actually needs alimony and whether the other spouse can actually make the payments. If the answers to these questions are yes, the court will then examine several factors in order to assess the proper type and amount of alimony. Some of these factors include:

  • The marital standard of living
  • The number of years the spouses were married
  • The emotional and physical condition of each spouse, as well as their ages
  • The education, skills and earning capacity of each spouse
  • The financial resources, as well as the income and investments of each spouse
  • The contributions of each spouse while they were married, including contributions related to child care and homemaking

As you can imagine, divorce proceedings can quickly become quite complex if an alimony dispute arises, which is one reason it is so important to contact legal counsel as soon as possible.