Many of those in Hernando County who choose to divorce may carry some preconceived notions into their proceedings. One of those is often the assumption that whichever one of the couple was not the primary household wage earner will be entitled to alimony. If you hold such an assumption, you should know that such a benefit is not automatic. Even if you are awarded spousal support, it may only be granted as temporary assistance to help you transition into your new life.
Florida’s guidelines granting the awarding of alimony can be found in Section 61.08 in the state’s statutes outlining the Rules for Civil Practice and Procedure. They state that, among other things, the court considers the following factors when determining if alimony is warranted:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Your marital standard of living
- Your age and physical condition
- Both yours and your ex-spouse’s current financial resources
- Both yours and your ex-spouse’s earning capacity
- The contributions that both of you made to the marriage
Factors such as both of your available income and tax liabilities, as well as any obligations your ex may have to support your children are also considered.
If your marriage lasted longer than 20 years, and the court believes that you do not have the time or resources to develop the skills that will allow you to earn an income that can produce your same marital standard of living, you may be awarded permanent alimony (such an award would end if you remarry). Durational alimony is awarded for a set time limit when your marriage lasted less than 20 years. “Bridge-the-gap” alimony is an award that lasts just as long as it takes you to transition into single life. Rehabilitative alimony supports you while developing the skills needed to secure gainful employment.