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Are you eligible for spousal support?

After more than 20 years of marriage, you and your husband have decided to divorce. The kids are over 18, so you don't have to worry about a custody battle. However, there are still aspects of the divorce that concern you.

Your husband's income was enough that you didn't have to work for the last 15 years and you're worried about finding a job after being out of the workforce for so long. Will the settlement be enough for you to maintain your current standard of living while you look for a job? Will the divorce agreement include spousal support?

These are the type of questions that need to be addressed while you are negotiating the divorce settlement. Read below for answers to your questions about Florida spousal support and alimony laws.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a payment made from one spouse to another usually by court order or as part of a court approved divorce agreement. The main purpose of the payments is to lessen any economic hardships felt by a lower earning or nonworking spouse after a divorce.

How is alimony determined?

After the court has finished dividing your marital assets, it will decide if alimony should be paid. The court will examine the financial situation of both you and your husband in order to determine how much support you should receive.

Is it possible to agree on alimony outside of the court?

Instead of letting a judge decide on spousal support, you and your husband can come to an agreement that can be included in the divorce settlement. However, to ensure that the settlement is fair to both parties, the court will examine the agreement.

What type of factors does the court consider?

The court will look at several factors in order to decide if alimony should be paid and, if so, how much should be paid each month.

Among the items the court will take into consideration are your standard of living, the length of your marriage, you age, financial resources, and even your physical and emotional condition.

How is alimony paid?

Spousal support payments are usually made through depositories that use Florida's State Disbursement Unit in order to transfer the money between spouses. This limits the amount of direct contact you must have with your husband after the divorce.

From property division to determining alimony, getting divorce in Florida can be a complicated process. Don't leave anything to chance. Take action to protect your interests and property during the settlement process.

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