How Alimony in Florida is Calculated
The Florida alimony statutes do not provide a method to calculate the amount or the length of alimony in a particular case. There are no guidelines in Florida as with calculating child support. Courts in Florida vary greatly on how to handle an alimony case, but the incomes of the parties is the most important factor in the alimony calculation. Some Courts follow unwritten local customs for amount and duration. Others look to organizations such as the American Bar Association or the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for guidance on both. Some even evaluate the after tax cash positions of the parties to determine what is the most equitable for an alimony amount, while still staying within the restriction that the net income of the paying spouse cannot be less than the net income of the receiving spouse after the alimony payment.
The determining factor for the length of time alimony is paid is the length of the marriage. The statute provides the definitions for what is considered a short term marriage, a marriage of moderate length, and a long term marriage. Typically, for a marriage of short duration, alimony will not be more than two years if Bridge the Gap alimony is awarded. The tougher question is the term of alimony for a marriage of moderate length, between 7 and 17 years. Often the term of alimony will be associated with the ages of any children involved. What this means is that if there are young children which require the receiving spouse to be more available during the day for the children, that spouse may expect to receive alimony for a period of time longer than if there were no children or the children are older. Sometimes a court will even formulate an alimony scheme that steps down the amount of alimony as the children get older. Typically, the alimony term for a marriage of moderate length is about half the length of the marriage. For marriages longer than 17 years, the term of the alimony might be related to the ages of the paying spouse and the receiving spouse and how close each of them are to receiving retirement benefits. Typically, the term for alimony for marriages longer than 17 years, is for life.