Determining alimony in Florida is a somewhat complicated process. Since every divorce in Broward County is a bit different, courts will handle the question of alimony slightly differently depending on the couple’s unique circumstances.
Still, Coral Springs residents can understand a few basics about how courts will determine an alimony award.
Courts first have to determine need and ability to pay
Before a court can decide the type, terms or amount of alimony to award, it must first make a finding that the person asking for alimony actually needs it.
This is because the point of alimony is to provide financial support to someone who legitimately will require it in order to move forward from a divorce.
Alimony is not meant to be a reward for one spouse or a penalty on the person who is ordered to pay it.
Likewise, before getting into specifics, the court also has to determine that the other spouse has an ability to pay alimony. Alimony awards should not force someone into financial hardship, even if he or she is technically better off than the person asking for alimony,
Court use a number of factors to work out the details of alimony payments
Once a court has decided to award alimony, it will look to a number of factors to decide the amount and type of alimony as well as how long the alimony will last and other important details.
The factors the court will examine include the couple’s standard of living prior to divorce, the income and financial resources of each spouse and the skills and abilities each spouse has to support himself or herself. Courts are also allowed to consider evidence of a spouse’s adultery when making decisions about alimony.
How long the marriage lasted is also an important factor judges consider, especially since the duration of the marriage makes a difference in the type of alimony that a judge may award.