In a divorce, Florida law allows an award of alimony when a need is shown and the paying party has an ability to pay. Florida does not have an alimony calculator like some states, so instead Florida statute indicates factors that are to be used to determine the length of alimony and the court determines the amount based on again, need and ability. When the marriage is a short-term marriage often alimony is not awarded and if it is, then it may be for a brief time. The tricky determination for alimony is when the length of the marriage is between 7 – 16 years, then permanent is often not awarded and bridge the gap (between married and single life, typically 2 years) is not enough time.
Florida Statute 61.08(7) provides for durational alimony, which can be for a length of time that is more comparable to the needs and length of the marriage than the aforementioned alimony. Durational alimony is defined as follows:
“Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis. An award of durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. The amount of an award of durational alimony may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances in accordance with s. 61.14. However, the length of an award of durational alimony may not be modified except under exceptional circumstances and may not exceed the length of the marriage.”
A family law attorney can help guide you through your divorce by providing a better understanding of your rights and options.