One of the most frequent questions we are asked at the Morey Law Firm, P.A. is, “will I get alimony,” or “how much alimony will I get.” To answer these questions, there are many factors we must consider.
A party receiving alimony is called the payee and the person paying alimony is the payor. The most basic determination the court will make in awarding alimony is whether payee’s has a need for alimony and whether the payor has the ability to pay. This will be based on each party’s finances. Once the court determines that there is a need and an ability to pay, it will need to consider many other factors, including the length of the marriage. There are many types of alimony. The longer the marriage, the more likely it will be that permanent alimony will be awarded. Section 61.08 of the Florida Statute deals with alimony. Subsection (2) states:
In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8), the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
In alimony situations, the most important thing for you to do is contact a reputable family law attorney. If you try to represent yourself (pro se), you will probably not be happy with the results and will have to live with the consequences for a long time.
At the Morey Law Firm, P.A. we can help! We can consider your situation and help you determine your rights regarding alimony. Contact us today at (407) 426-7222 for a consultation to determine your rights.