How Alimony In Florida Is Calculated
The new version of the Florida alimony statute 61.08 now provides somewhat of a formula for calculating the amount and length of alimony in a particular case. The new statute still requires a need and ability to pay analysis. In particular, the Court has to compare the financial need of an alimony recipient to the difference between the net incomes of the parties. The Court must award the lesser of 35% of the difference between the net incomes and the calculated financial need.
The length of time alimony is paid now has some limits. For a marriage of less than 3 years, only bridge-the-gap alimony is available and that cannot exceed 2 years, and it terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the receiving spouse. Bridge-the-gap is not modifiable in the amount or length of time. Durational alimony is not available for a marriage of less than 3 years.
For a short term marriage which is between 3 and 10 years, the length of time for durational alimony cannot be longer than half the length of the marriage. For a marriage of between 10 and 20 years, that period cannot exceed 60% of the length of the marriage. For a marriage of longer than 20 years, the length of time for alimony cannot exceed 75% of the length of the marriage. These limits can be extended but only under exceptional circumstances.
As before durational alimony terminates upon the death of either spouse, or upon the remarriage of the receiving spouse. Durational alimony can be modified in amount with a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. These situations are addressed in Florida statute 61.14.
With such stringent guidelines, it is critical to have a divorce attorney on your side who can argue for you to receive maximum durational alimony.