When a couple gets a divorce, there are numerous decisions they need to make while creating their divorce decree. These decisions include issues of property division, child custody and spousal support.
Spousal support, or alimony, is a type of support paid by one spouse to another to assist with financial inequalities. It may be paid on a temporary or even permanent basis. Alimony is not automatic in divorces and is only granted if a petitioner can demonstrate that it’s warranted.
To determine alimony, Florida courts consider several factors. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to demonstrate that he or she meets the standard for alimony. Courts also look at whether the other party is able to make alimony payments. If the court decides that the petitioner has a right to alimony and the other spouse is able to pay, it then looks at a broad range of issues to determine exactly how much and for how long alimony should be awarded.
The factors relevant to alimony determinations include the financial resources of each spouse, the petitioning spouse’s earning capacity (including education and vocational skills), the martial standard of living, the length of the marriage, the spouses’ ages, each spouse’s contributions to the marriage and the parental responsibilities of each spouse. Additionally, if there is evidence that one party committed adultery to the financial detriment of the marriage, it might be taken into consideration. There is no one standardized formula to alimony, and judges do their best to make a decision that is fair and equitable to both parties.
Spousal support is just one of many complex matters that must be settled in a Florida divorce. For further legal guidance on these issues, contact the experienced divorce attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.