Divorcing in Florida after 16 years of marriage is considered a long-term marriage when determining alimony. Basically, the idea that has been passed down by the Florida legislature is that when parties have been married that long, if there is a need for alimony then that alimony may be needed permanently because the parties had their roles for so long and the needing party will most likely not have time to build a career to be at the same marital lifestyle or even close to it without alimony. The idea is that if a couple chose to have one spouse be a homemaker, then that individual will most likely not be able to go into the workforce and make equal to the spouse that has worked the length of the marriage.
Florida Statute 61.08 provides details for determining alimony and the length of the alimony. For a long-term marriage, permanent periodic alimony may be awarded if the requesting party can prove a need for alimony and prove that the other party has an ability to pay the alimony. Florida Statute 61.08(8) defines permanent periodic alimony as follows:
Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration, following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short duration if there are exceptional circumstances. An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14.
A Florida family law attorney can help guide you through your divorce and help you to better understand your rights and options.