Alimony, or spousal support, is among the most hotly contested divorce matters. When one spouse has a significantly higher income or earning potential than the other, this financial discrepancy creates an unfair disadvantage for the lower-earning spouse during a divorce. To make up for this financial disparity, the court may order a higher-earning spouse to provide financial support to the lower-earning spouse during or after the divorce is finalized. Please continue reading to learn how Florida courts calculate alimony and how a determined Pensacola Alimony Lawyer can help you fight for a fair support agreement.
What factors are taken into consideration when determining alimony orders in Florida?
When a dependent spouse requires financial support, the court may order alimony. However, alimony is not automatically granted. The dependent spouse must request alimony through the court and prove they can receive it. To determine whether spousal support is appropriate, the court will look at the needs of the spouse asking for support and whether the other spouse has the financial means to provide this type of financial assistance. The following factors can impact a judge’s decision on alimony:
- The age and health of each party
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The earning capacities, educational levels, and vocational skills of each party
- The length of absence from the job market
- The parental responsibilities for the children
- The contributions each party made to the marriage
- The equitable distribution of marital property
- Child support obligations
- The tax consequences
- Any history of domestic violence
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant
How do courts calculate alimony?
Unfortunately, alimony law in Florida can be confusing as there is no set formula. As mentioned above, the two primary factors the court will consider to calculate the amount of alimony are the need of the dependent spouse and the ability of the paying spouse. Alongside this consideration, the court may impute the annual income of a spouse earning less than the spouse who can earn through their best efforts based on their educational level or vocational skills. Impute income refers to the court’s practice of attributing a certain level of income to a spouse to calculate the appropriate amount of alimony needed or the ability of the paying spouse to meet such obligations.
If you and your spouse are headed for divorce, please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Pensacola alimony lawyer, who can help you fight for a just support agreement. At The Law Office of James M. Burns, we are prepared to help you protect your future financial security.