Whether or not you will be required to pay your former spouse alimony in Florida depends on many factors unique to your situation. Because alimony is not a legal right that the courts give to everyone, your spouse will first have to request that the courts grant them that right during your case. This usually happens when his or her attorney files the complaint for divorce, or an amended complaint at some time during the action.
Just because your spouse requests the monthly stipend does not mean that he or she will receive it. Following the request for alimony, your spouse will have to prove that he or she falls within the parameters set by the statutes that determine eligibility. According to the 2015 Florida Statutes, your judge should consider many of the following factors when determining whether alimony is the right choice for your situation:
- How long you were married
- The lifestyle you and your ex maintained
- Your ages
- What you and your spouse contributed to the marriage, including assets and income
- Who was responsible for raising your children, if applicable
It is important to note that these factors are not absolute, and your judge may make a ruling on alimony based on other evidence offered by you, your spouse, or his or her attorney at the time the issue is addressed at a hearing on the matter.
Your judge has the discretion to grant different types of alimony as well. If you were not married long, the judge may decide that your spouse should receive some financial assistance from you, but it could be limited to just a few months during the divorce, or a few years. Alternatively, the judge may decide that a more moderate term is appropriate for your situation, and you may be required to pay for 10 to 20 years. In some rare circumstances, your judge may decide that you should pay alimony indefinitely.
Please note that this information is strictly educational and should not be taken as legal advice.