In Florida, state statute 61.08 describes alimony as having the purpose of bridging the gap as a spouse moves from being co-dependent on their husband or wife to being self-supporting. These support payments are rarely ordered to be paid long-term. Instead, a judge takes into account a number of different considerations when deciding how much spousal support to award either the husband or wife.
According to subsection 5 through 8 of the aforementioned state alimony statute, a judge must consider the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during their marriage as well as how long it lasted. Another factor that a judge is required to take into consideration is how much in terms of financial resources that each spouse contributed to the couple's assets as well as liabilities.
A spouse involved in child care or furthering his or her education may not be seen as an having been an income-generator in a traditional sense. Even though that individual's work may be difficult to quantify, it is still seen as a contribution to the family's income for the purpose of awarding support. Judges are required to take into account any physical or emotional limitations that the spouses may have as well.
As for how long a spouse will be expected to pay alimony, it may vary depending on how long the marriage lasted. Under Florida law, a marriage is considered short-term if it lasted under seven years. A long-term marriage is defined as lasting 17 years or more.
In cases of rehabilitative or temporary alimony awards, the most common types, those payments cannot last more than two years. Additionally, an ex no longer has an obligation to pay it after the spouse passes away or remarries.
If you're separated and you're considering requesting spousal support from your ex, then a Fort Myers, Florida, divorce attorney can help you make sense of the different options available to you.
Source: Official Site of the Florida Legislature, "The 2016 Florida statutes: Alimony," accessed July 27, 2017