How Long Do You Have to Make Alimony Payments after a Florida Divorce?
It’s not uncommon for people to ask how long they will likely have to pay alimony, or spousal support, to their soon-to-be-ex. Unfortunately, there is not a set answer because it will vary based on individual circumstances and what the court decides if you don’t reach an agreement on your own. Florida law allows for several different types of alimony, which can be different durations, amounts, and serve a different purpose. This is one of the reasons it’s important to have a skilled Boca Raton divorce attorney assisting you.
Factors Courts Use When Determining Alimony
When the judge looks at whether or not to award alimony, he or she will first make a factual determination on whether or not either party has the need for alimony, and whether the other party has the ability to pay anything. Once that determination has been made, the court will determine the proper amount to award. Some of the relevant factors the court uses can include, but are not limited to:
- The duration of your marriage;
- What the standard of living was during the course of your marriage;
- Financial resources of each spouse, including the marital and non-marital assets and liabilities assigned to each;
- The physical and emotional condition of each party;
- Age of each party;
- All sources of income each party has available, including investment assets held by each party;
- The contribution from each party to the marriage, including things like child care, homemaking services, education, and career building of the other spouse;
- Earning capacity, vocational skills, educational levels, and each party’s employability; and
- Any other factor the court deems relevant.
Some people assume alimony is awarded on a permanent basis all the time, but that is far from the case. In fact, permanent alimony is considered appropriate only in the case of long marriages. From a legal standpoint, a marriage of long duration is one that lasted 17 or more years. It is rare for the court to award permanent alimony in a marriage that is considered “short duration.” Short duration is a marriage under seven years, and a “medium-term” marriage is the period that lasts seven to 17 years.
Permanent alimony can be terminated in several instances. The obligation to pay alimony will end if either spouse dies. In the second situation, alimony will end if the recipient spouse remarries. And, being married 17 years does not mean you get permanent alimony automatically. If your ex presents evidence as to why you shouldn’t receive permanent alimony, the court will consider it. Temporary alimony is more usual, and the court may award it for several years. The court may also award short-term alimony while the divorce is ongoing if one spouse’s situation warrants it.
Contact a Boca Raton Divorce Attorney
If you have questions on alimony or need assistance with your Florida divorce, you need to speak with a Boca Raton family law attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White today to schedule an initial consultation.