In some jurisdictions, child support awards are determined using a formula whereby one parent's income, the amount of children he or she has and other factors may affect how much the other one is ordered to pay. While modifications can be made in some cases outside of the formula based on extenuating circumstances, in most cases, rates remain relatively the same.
No such formula exists to determine alimony in Florida, though. Instead, it's the responsibility of the judge to determine recipient spouse need for it.
Whether paying spousal support will adversely impact a paying husband's or wife's ability to comfortably cover necessary expenses will be taken into account as well. As for determining how long alimony awards are intended to last, oftentimes judges will take into account the duration of the marriage and how long it may take for the recipient spouse to get back on his or her feet once again.
Additionally, in Florida, new laws implemented in 2011 set guidelines for situations that warrant alimony being awarded. The new statutes also impact how long it should be ordered to be paid in different instances.
In the case of rehabilitative alimony, it's intended to only carry an ex through completing necessary education and transitioning into a career he or she can live off of post-marriage. In order to receive this type of spousal support, judges often demand that recipients file a plan of action with them to serve as a guide for how long alimony will be necessary.
With the bridge-the-gap type of alimony, it's not intended to be ordered to be paid for more than two years. It's been determined by lawmakers that this gives a recipient husband or wife ample time to adjust to his or her newfound single life.
In the case of durational alimony, it's intended to be paid out for the same length of time as the marriage lasted.
Permanent alimony has no definitive date in which it's intended to stop having to be paid. In cases in which a judge elects to order it in a case, Florida lawmakers do require him or her to state for the record why all other alimony types were rejected and permanent was instead selected.
If you're in the process of getting divorced and you're considering asking for spousal support, then a Fort Myers, Florida alimony attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.
Source: Legal Beagle, "How to calculate alimony in the state of Florida," Beverly Bird, accessed Jan. 11, 2018