The Florida Statutes 61.08 (4) define marriage durations for alimony as follows:
For purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.
In order for the court to make a determination of an alimony award, it must have evidence before it that establishes a factual basis for alimony. The court must determine both entitlement and amount to make an alimony award. The primary factors for entitlement are need of the payee spouse, ability of the payor spouse and the standard of living established during the marriage.
Generally, in a short term marriage, alimony is not awarded or is a negligible amount. However, that is usually because the party seeking it did not present evidence to establish a basis for the award. A spouse can always argue for an award of alimony but must be prepared to support a finding of fact for the award.
If you plan on getting a divorce and do not use an attorney, you may be unaware of how to present competent evidence to gain an alimony award. This can be a costly mistake that far surpasses the fees you may pay an attorney.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce, contact a Florida Family Law Attorney to discuss alimony.