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Alimony payments aren't automatic in Florida

Some divorces involve alimony, or spousal support, but this isn't the case for all divorces. In Florida, alimony is handled on a case-by-case, so don't think that just because someone you know was able to receive alimony that you will also be able to. There are several factors the court considers when trying to decide if someone should receive alimony payments.

One of the primary factors that is considered is the earning capacity of each spouse. A stay-at-home parent might qualify for alimony payments because that parent hasn't been in the workforce. In this case, the court might look at the situation and decide that the stay-at-home parent needs spousal support so that he or she can keep up with the same standard of living that he or she has grown accustomed to.

Another factor in spousal support payments involves the circumstances of the recipient. If the recipient has been out of the workforce for a while, such as in the stay-at-home parent case, the court might decide that rehabilitative alimony is best. This type of alimony would provide the recipient with an income while he or she takes steps to improve employability. Eventually, the support would cease.

The length of the marriage is also considered when the court is trying to decide if alimony is appropriate. Typically, longer marriages are more likely to involve alimony as a component in the divorce order.

If you are facing a divorce and think that you might be due alimony payments, you should determine how the laws impact your case. From there, you can decide if you are going to include the alimony petition.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed April 07, 2017

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