If you are wondering why you must pay alimony or why you are entitled to alimony, you are not alone. Our Florida family law attorneys hear these questions nearly daily. Although we can only provide legal advice upon study of your individual case, we are happy to provide educational information by way of this Florida alimony article to get you started. We hope it helps.
Why Does Florida Law Require Alimony?
It may surprise you to know that Florida law does NOT necessarily require alimony.
However, the law does provide that when you choose to marry someone, you are agreeing to financially support that individual.
- In Florida, alimony is required:
- If you and your spouse haven’t agreed (in writing) otherwise via a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement
- One spouse has a need for financial support and the other spouse has the ability to provide support.
- Alimony is requested.
How Much Alimony Do I Have to Pay?
Here’s the link to Florida’s alimony law. The statute provides a “formula” for determining how much alimony is required. Factors include length of marriage, income of both spouses, and the ability of the receiving spouse to support his or herself.
Each case is different, but your family law attorney can give you an idea of how much alimony will be required, if any.
Who Determines Alimony Payments?
There are typically 3 paths for determining alimony payments and you get to pick which path you take:
You and your spouse (likely with the help of your family law attorneys) have the ability and right to design your own marital agreement. This means that you can determine whether alimony will be paid and, if so, how much and for how long.
Often, couples, armed with legal advice from their family law attorneys, work with a highly-trained neutral party called a “mediator”, who helps them reach an agreement as to alimony and other divorce related issues.
If you and your spouse are unable to work out an agreement, the court is available to settle disputes on your behalf. While in many cases, going to court should be a last resort because you lose control and it significantly increases divorce costs, it’s sometimes necessary. If one spouse is disrespectful, abusive, or doesn’t buy into the negotiation or mediation processes, court interference is likely necessary.
How to Find a Florida Family Law Attorney