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What factors will Florida courts consider in calculating alimony?

High asset couples in Florida are accustomed to living a certain lifestyle. However, not every marriage is meant to last, and sometimes, these couples decide that it is best to divorce. But, a divorce can impact the lifestyle they enjoyed while married, particularly if one spouse earns significantly more than the other. When this happens, the lower earning spouse may seek alimony, also known as spousal support.

When deciding whether to award spousal support, Florida courts will first decide if there is a need for spousal support, and if the spouse paying alimony is able to do so. If it is determined that spousal support should be awarded, there are a number of factors the court will consider in determining the appropriate amount of spousal support.

One of these factors is the standard of living the couple enjoyed while married. How long the marriage lasted will also be considered. Each spouse's age and physical and emotional health are also factors in determining how much spousal support to award. And, the court will consider each spouse's financial resources, including how marital and nonmarital property was distributed in the divorce. How much each spouse is able to earn, each spouse's level of education, the vocational skills of each spouse and each spouse's employability will also be considered, as will the length of time each spouse would need to gain the necessary skills to obtain a job. What each spouse contributed to the marriage, such as taking care of the home and children, and supporting the other spouse's education and career will be considered. Moreover, child custody will factor into a spousal support award, as will any applicable taxes. Each spouse's sources of income will be another factor.

Of course, alimony may be a factor in any divorce, no matter what a couple earns. Alimony can be essential to spouses of any means. Whether a couple seeks to receive alimony or is facing the possibility of having to pay alimony, it is important that they understand Florida spousal support laws and how they affect their rights.

Source: Fl.us, "61.07 Alimony," accessed on March 5, 2017

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