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Wills & Probate

When does the court award alimony or spousal support?

The award of alimony, is determined in the court’s discretion taking into account certain specifically enumerated factors set forth in Chapter 61, Florida Statutes. Some of the listed factors include the living standard during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the age and health condition of the parties, the financial resources available to each party, the contributions of each party to the marriage, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party find appropriate employment and all sources of income available to each party. Alimony may be either temporary (often called “rehabilitative alimony”) or permanent. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a temporary period of time to facilitate a spouse receiving necessary education or training in order to get back into the workforce. Permanent alimony continues throughout the working life of the party or until otherwise ordered by the court. Permanent alimony is usually awarded in circumstances where there has been a long-term marriage, often involving one spouse being out of the workforce for a significant period of time, such as a housewife.

 

Alimony is one area where a party’s adultery is relevant. In determining the alimony to be awarded, a family court may take into account the adultery of either party and the circumstances thereof. This is true even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state and adultery would not be an issue with regard to the court determining whether to grant a petition for a dissolution of marriage.