Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
Alimony in Florida can be defined as a spousal support established to help keep both parties in the same lifestyle to which they were accustomed during the marriage. Alimony has been established for individuals that are divorcing that have a lack of ability to earn income based on their contributions to the marriage. The idea is that the spouse that has put his/her career on hold will be financially harmed by the divorce due to lack of income, job experience and the like. Permanent alimony is designed to help keep the status quo the marriage for the parties.
However, Florida law has changed in 2011 and will take effect on July 1, 2011 making permanent alimony more challenging to be awarded, even in a long-term marriage (over 17 years). Now, the court must determine that permanent alimony is necessary for the requesting spouse and make a finding that there are no other forms of alimony that are fair and reasonable under the circumstances. If the requesting spouse could work towards achieving a lifestyle similar to that established during the marriage, then the court may find that another form of alimony (bridge-the-gap, lump sum, rehabilitative, durational) may be just as fair in achieving the goal of having finances equal to the marital lifestyle.
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.