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Factors that go into determining alimony

by | May 21, 2019 | Firm News |

In any divorce, alimony is typically the most contentious issues next to child custody. Judges in Florida spend a great deal of their time resolving disputes related to unpaid alimony or former spouses making the case for why the court should terminate future alimony payments. 

Needing to pay alimony can be a significant burden on the party who has to pay. However, it is essential so that the spouse making less money can still maintain a manageable lifestyle. Judges must look at various factors to determine how much alimony is fair and how long the spouse should pay it out for. 

The length of the marriage

Judges will consider how long the marriage lasted when determining alimony. A short marriage that lasted fewer than seven years may not necessitate as much alimony as one that lasted over 20 years. In the latter, both spouses have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, so more alimony is necessary to ensure each party can survive reasonably well. 

Employment prospects

The amount of income each spouse brings in will also factor into alimony proceedings. One spouse may have spent the last few years taking care of children. There is now a significant gap in that person’s employment history, and it may be difficult for him or her to get a regular job now. Higher alimony payments may be necessary until that person can start making money independently. 

Age of both spouses

Alimony payments usually increase as each spouse gets older. A younger person will have an easier time entering the workforce for the first time. A person in his or her 50s or 60s likely does not have a ton of opportunities available. Therefore, higher alimony payments are essential. These payments may last for a few years or for the rest of the payer’s life. Each case is different, and the only way to get a sense of what your alimony situation will look like is to discuss it with your attorney.