Financial stability is one of the top concerns people have when they are getting divorced. This is understandable considering the fact that divorce means that a couple will have to split up their assets. They will also have to transition out of one or two incomes supporting a single household to that same amount of money supporting two households.
Divorcing spouses may assume that they will be able to collect spousal support -- or alimony -- in order to make the financial transition from being married to divorced easier. However, the reality is that not every divorce in Florida ends with an award of alimony.
Whether alimony will be awarded or not is typically left up to a judge. He or she will take into consideration a wide range of factors when making this decision. In accordance with Florida alimony laws, courts will consider several details including:
- How long a couple was married
- The standard of living the couple had when married
- Earning capacities and employability of each spouse
- Each person's contribution to the marriage
- Instances of adultery
Based on the court's finding, alimony may be ordered or not. If is it, the support will either be permanent or temporary and payable either all at once or in periodic payments.
However, there are ways that alimony can be determined without leaving it in the hands of a judge. If, for example, a couple has a prenuptial agreement in place that specifies what, if any, alimony will be paid, those terms can be enforced. If the divorcing spouses can work out an arrangement for spousal support in mediation, that can also be acceptable.
It is important to understand that alimony typically won't be awarded in cases where it is financially inappropriate. If one spouse cannot afford it or the other spouse does not need it, spousal support may not be ordered.
Because of how subjective alimony awards can be and how many different outcomes are possible, it can be crucial to have the guidance and experience of an attorney by your side when it comes to issues of spousal support. A legal representative who can work to protect your well-being can prove to be a wise and beneficial resource during these difficult discussions.