Florida Statute 61.08 provides the rules for receiving alimony. However, only the courts and many lawsuits have created the boundaries for what are considered short-term and long-term marriages. As such, many people feel that if they are married and their spouse provided for them, then they are entitled to alimony in some capacity.
If you have ever dealt with child support issues or other family law matters, then you may know that the amount in child support is determined by a calculation and the numbers don’t really change one way or another because it’s really a black and white issue. However, that is not true with alimony, and there are many factors that can be considered. However, the focus here is not in the aspect of determining whether you’ll receive alimony, but just to clarify a few terms that you probably could not find on your own.
In first determining alimony, your legal representative and/or the court will evaluate the length of the marriage. In Florida, a long-term marriage is considered anything over 15 years of marriage and a short-term marriage is anything up to 10 years. Many people fall within a gray area, which the court has the right to use its discretion in determining and that is the 11-15 year marriages. It is important to realize that the court does have discretion to rule in accordance with the lifestyle of the parties, the work dynamic of the parties, and many other aspects. Also, since Florida does not recognize an equation for the process, often each judge has his/her own way of determining how, if any, alimony should be determined.