Florida Alimony Law


Spousal support, spousal maintenance, and alimony all denote the same thing in Florida, being applicable to payments from one spouse to another in divorce cases. This is what Florida alimony law is all about. An initial point to note concerning alimony is that it does not feature in every divorce. A judge will make a support determination based on a number of statutory factors. Input from a proven family law team can often make a material difference in the result.

How Does Alimony Work in Florida?

How does alimony work in Florida? Spousal support commonly occurs when one spouse is economically disadvantaged compared with the other. It could be the case that one partner worked throughout marriage so that the other could attain credentials enabling a lucrative career. Maybe one spouse quit school or a promising job to stay home and raise a family during marriage, with the other experiencing steady on-the-job advancements.

In such cases, one spouse clearly enters post-divorce life with a money-making capacity not equally shared by the other. Spousal maintenance is a legal tool that exists to address and remedy that inequity.

The Role of a Florida Alimony Lawyer

Alimony discussions and outcomes sometimes play out amicably and without a hitch. Understandably, though, that is far from uniformly being the case. We note on our website at the established Tampa family law firm of Quinn & Lynch that a would-be-payer spouse often resists a maintenance request.

Disputed matters can revolve around many issues, with amount and duration often being top-tier concerns. Experienced Tampa alimony attorneys will always seek to promote a client’s best interests in the least adversarial and cost-efficient way. This is one of the traits of a good lawyer. That typically mandates a focus on party cooperation that helps to skirt formal litigation and a court-driven process.

Several types of alimony and, as noted above, many factors can determine a support outcome.

Is Alimony Part of the Divorce Process in Florida?

The answer to that question is perhaps. Alimony serves as an adjustment tool. It seeks
to remedy material disparity in the wealth/income of two individuals entering post-divorce. A judge will closely oversee and issue rulings concerning an alimony matter in Florida. However, timely and knowledgeable help from a proven legal team can greatly influence an ultimate determination.

Types of Florida Alimony

A threshold consideration regarding spousal support will focus on its duration. Some awards are temporary; their rationale is to support one spouse until a divorce decree is issued reasonably. Others are deemed permanent. A permanent award will generally feature only in longer-term marriages, lasting until either the ex-spouse dies or the recipient remarries. In addition to a temporary or permanent determination, other types of alimony might also come into play, wholly dependent on the specific facts that emerge in a divorce.

These are the types of alimony in Florida:

  • Durational (typically paid monthly for a stated period not exceeding the length of a marriage)
  • Rehabilitative (provided for a limited period and with specific relevance for a spouse seeking to secure job-linked training/education)
  • Bridge the gap (again, of finite duration, applying to a short-term period between marriage and once again being single)

What Determines Alimony in Florida?

Florida statutory law spotlights ten key factors for a court to focus on in making an alimony determination. A family law legal team with proven acumen can often provide input concerning those elements that materially benefit a client.

The factors centrally include judicial focus on these matters:

  • Marriage duration
  • Accustomed standard of living during marriage
  • Assets available to each party
  • Post-divorce earning capacity of each party
  • Health of both parties
  • Child-centric concerns (e.g., custody and support)

Other factors, too, can come into play for Florida alimony calculations. Notably, a court can take any action beyond its stated statutory dictates that it feels is necessary to secure a fair alimony result. Again, focused and knowledgeable legal counsel can often provide persuasive evidence in that regard. Alimony can seem relatively simple and quite complex at the same time. Questions or concerns regarding this often important family law tool can be addressed to an experienced and client-empathetic family law firm.

Contact Our Experienced, Dedicated Divorce & Family Law Lawyers Today

As a dedicated family law practice in the Tampa Bay area, we work one on one with our clients, resulting in representation that is characterized by genuine care and understanding. If you are dealing with divorce or other family law issues, please contact at 813-223-7739  to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family and divorce attorneys.