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Can inflation affect alimony orders in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Alimony |

Alimony, which some people call spousal maintenance or spousal support, is generally intended to help a spouse to regain their financial independence after a marriage. Sometimes, one spouse makes sacrifices that negatively affect their career and earning potential but benefit the family unit. They may then struggle to live independently during or immediately after a divorce.

Depending on the circumstances, the Florida courts can award alimony in varying amounts and for varying lengths of time. A spouse who earns more may need to make monthly payments to a dependent spouse to help them maintain a separate home and redevelop their earning potential.

Unless spouses have a marital agreement addressing financial support, they may require a judge’s input to determine how long support should last and how much someone requires. Unique factors from the marriage and the circumstances at the time of the divorce influence what a judge might deem appropriate. Could inflation have an impact on Florida alimony orders?

Inflation could influence a judge’s opinion

A judge must consider both the needs of the person requesting support and the ability of the other spouse to pay support. Inflation could theoretically affect both elements of that evaluation by reducing the buying power of the household income.

Inflation can reduce how far an employee’s wages go, making them less able to afford generous support for a spouse. Especially if the spouse paying support hasn’t recently received a cost-of-living raise, their wages may not be enough to cover their own costs and alimony.

Inflation could also theoretically affect someone’s need for financial support from a spouse because the basic elements of life, like groceries, have become substantially more expensive. The amount someone must earn to maintain their own household increases when inflation is high, making it harder to reach financial independence.

In some cases, judges might factor in concerns about inflation when establishing an initial order. Demonstrating the impact of inflation in a particular area or on a specific budget could also warrant a request for an alimony modification in some cases.

People who understand what family law judges must consider when awarding or adjusting alimony can better assert themselves in family court. Recognizing the impact that inflation and economic factors might have on alimony could help people pursue fair negotiation terms if they want to avoid divorce litigation.