Florida Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
Florida divorce courts may grant alimony or support payments to one spouse if the circumstances of the parties make it necessary or just. The court will consider alimony on a case-by-case basis.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – may be awarded upon filing for divorce, lasting until the final decree.
- Short-Term – may be awarded to assist one spouse in adjusting to the changed circumstances resulting from divorce.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be awarded where the marriage lasted for fourteen years or longer.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Florida
Florida courts may grant alimony upon divorce to either the wife or the husband on a case-by-case basis. The amount and length of any payments will be determined based on the need and financial status of the parties among other considerations.
Florida Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
Under Florida law, the factors a court may consider in granting alimony includes, but is not limited to:
- Marital lifestyle;
- Length of the marriage;
- Ability to pay and need;
- Ability to work and earning potential;
- Special needs due to any children; and
- Any other factors the court determines to be important in the case.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Florida
In order to grant a modification of alimony payments, the court must determine that there has been a substantial change of circumstances. The party seeking the modification must file a petition to modify alimony with the court and present evidence as to why a modification is needed.
Marital Fault in Florida
Fault may not be the grounds for a divorce in Florida, but it can be relevant to other determinations the court will make during the dissolution process. Thus, no party need be at fault for the court to grant a divorce, but the court can consider the actions of the parties during marriage in awarding child custody and support payments.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Florida?
If the marriage is under seven years in Florida, it is considered short-term and alimony is not as likely to be awarded. A marriage that lasted over fourteen years may justify support award. Marriages that lasted from seven to fourteen years are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Florida Alimony Taxes
A party who pays alimony is allowed to claim the payments as a deduction on federal tax forms. The party receiving alimony is required to claim it as income on federal tax forms. An attorney familiar with divorce law can discuss the tax implications of your settlement with you.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Florida
A Florida family law attorney can help you navigate the court system, the tax implications, and the paperwork. Divorce can be an emotionally difficult time in a person’s life. Having an attorney by your side will make it easier to move through the proceedings and on with your life.