Alimony is the legal obligation by one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse during or after a divorce or martial separation. The purpose of alimony is to alleviate any unfair consequences economically to one spouse over the other. Alimony is also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance by some courts. Prior to the 1970’s, alimony was traditionally paid by the husband to the wife; however, with progressing gender equality movements, many states have begun to recognize the male counterpart as being equally as eligible for alimony as the wife and alimony reform has been abundant.
From a national viewpoint, there are many factors which play a role in determining the amount of the alimony award, as well as the actual judgment for alimony. The court will generally consider the length of the marriage, the length of the separation, the age of each spouse, the relative income of each spouse and their earning capacity, the health of the parties involved, the source of the breakdown of the marriage, and future financial projections of each party.
Alimony, as it relates specifically to Florida family law, considers the following for an alimony award:
- The standard of living set forth throughout the length of the marriage;
- The age of and emotional and physical conditions of each spouse;
- The length of the marriage;
- The financial resources and assets of each party;
- The contribution of each party to the marriage;
- The earning capacities and educational levels of each party;
- Roles and responsibilities of each spouse;
- Tax consequences;
- Additional consequential factors
Since a judge makes the final decision when it comes to an actual temporary or permanent alimony calculation it makes sense to speak with a qualified divorce attorney for any support related matter.