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Florida law allows for alimony when the circumstances are appropriate. There are basically four types: permanent periodic alimony, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and lump sum alimony. If you have questions about your divorce and alimony situation, please contact one of our Tampa alimony lawyers at Givens Law Group.
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Factors in Alimony Cases
There are a number of factors for alimony recited in the statute (Florida Statute section 61.08):
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party
- The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets, and liabilities distributed to each
- When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party
- All sources of income available to either party
Permanent Periodic Alimony
If, at the end of a marriage, one spouse is unable to maintain the standard of living experienced during the marriage, the court can require the other spouse to pay that spouse a monthly amount so that the requesting spouse can better meet that standard of living. Permanent periodic alimony is typically reserved for long-term marriages. The payments are tax deductible to the paying spouse and taxable to the receiving spouse for federal income taxation purposes and end upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the receiving spouse. A fairly recent statute even allows for modification or termination of alimony if the receiving spouse is in a "supportive relationship" with another person.
In a situation where the supported spouse can take steps to improve his or her income, the court may award rehabilitative alimony until the steps have been successful. An example would be the situation where a nurse has let a license lapse while staying home during the marriage. The nurse may need financial assistance from the other spouse for six months of living and educational expenses while the nurse attends school to requalify for a nursing license and find a job.
Sometimes a spouse does not qualify for permanent periodic or rehabilitative alimony, but simply needs a one-time payment of money to make the transition from married life to single life. This may be accomplished by an award of bridge-the-gap alimony to allow the spouse sufficient funds to hire a moving van or make a down payment on a new dwelling.
Lump Sum Alimony
Sometimes division of property is described as "lump sum alimony" when it is not really alimony at all, but merely part of the equitable distribution of assets and debts. Other times, the phrase is used to describe a one-time payment of what would otherwise be considered permanent periodic alimony.
For a more detailed discourse, please see the chapter on Alimony written by partner Stann W. Givens and principal Christian M. Givens of Givens Law Group for the Dissolution of Marriage manual made available by the Florida Bar to its members. The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your situation. Do not act upon it without first consulting an attorney.
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