Alimony Can Break You In a Florida Divorce: Truth or Myth?

Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.

cla49c.gifFlorida alimony laws have been scrutinized over the years because we do not have an alimony calculation, but simply calculate alimony based on factors of marriage duration; contribution to the marriage; marital lifestyle; etc. In addition, the type of alimony to be awarded has not been constant and there can reasons for providing permanent alimony to a short-term marriage and short-term alimony to a long-term marriage. These factors combined with a theoretical number based on marital assets; debts; and other lifestyle contributors has made alimony payors afraid of the term alimony.

Florida alimony laws started changing a year ago to give definitions to long-term and short-term marriages, which were not available before. Now, the Florida alimony statute has changed again and now includes a provision to make the payor and payee have equal amounts available to them each month. The new provision regarding alimony will be in Florida Statute 61.08(9) and basically states that the award of alimony cannot leave the payor with significantly less net income than the payee. This additional language will hopefully make alimony payments more fair in determining the amount to be paid and received. The idea is that one party really should not benefit financially while the other suffers financially from said support.

When going through a divorce, you should speak with a divorce lawyer/family law attorney to better understand the law and your rights and options under said law.