When you divorce, you may choose to seek alimony for any number of different reasons. Maybe you sacrificed your own career or education for the sake of your former partner’s, or perhaps you became accustomed to a particular standard of living that you cannot maintain on your own. Whatever your reasoning for wanting alimony, it is important that you recognize the factors the court typically looks at when making decisions about whether to grant it.
If Florida courts ultimately determine that you have a right to alimony and that your ex has the means to pay it, the next step typically involves figuring out the type and amount of alimony you are going to receive and for how long. In determining this, expect the court to consider:
The length of the marriage
Generally speaking, you may find it easier to obtain alimony or maintenance from your former spouse if your marriage was lengthy. Typically, the court looks at marriages that lasted fewer than seven years as short-term marriages, unions that lasted between seven and 17 years as moderate-term marriages and marriages that lasted 17 years or longer as long-term marriages.
Earning potential and employability
Florida courts also typically consider just how likely you are to find and maintain gainful employment once your marriage ends. The court may take a close look at your level of education, how long you spent out of the workforce, if applicable, and whether you have skills today’s employers desire, among other areas.
Courts also typically take into account just how much each party gave to the marriage when making alimony determinations. How much time you spent creating and maintaining a home or caring for any shared children may come into play. Whether you halted your own schooling or career for the sake of the family may also help you to secure alimony.
While these are some of the factors that Florida courts consider when making decisions regarding maintenance, this is not an exhaustive list of all areas that may undergo review.