Alimony in Florida: Laws, Qualifying & Calculating

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a financial agreement in which one spouse provides financial support to the other spouse during or after a divorce or dissolution of marriage. According to Florida’s spousal support statute, a spouse’s qualification for alimony is based on their financial needs and the paying spouse’s ability to meet those needs. The calculation of alimony payments and their duration is based on criteria such as the length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, and the contributions of each spouse during the marriage. The types of alimony outlined by Florida law include temporary, bridge-the-gap, durational, and rehabilitative.

Alimony can be determined by a court during litigation or negotiated by the divorcing parties during mediation. Alimony payments are enforceable by law. Non-payment of spousal support in the state of Florida can lead to severe consequences.

What Are the Alimony Laws in Florida?

Under Florida law, alimony is awarded based on the receiving spouse’s financial need and the paying spouse’s capacity to pay. Florida’s spousal support laws are outlined in Florida Statutes Chapter 61 Section 61.08. This statute specifies the types of alimony that can be awarded, the factors for determing which type of alimony to award, and the duration of alimony payments.

Florida’s alimony laws are designed to help an economically dependent spouse maintain a similar standard of living to that which they had during the marriage. Alimony is intended to ensure both spouses can transition smoothly into their post-marriage lives.

Florida Alimony guidelines are used to determine the qualification for alimony (spousal support), the calculation of alimony payments, and the process for modifying alimony. The Florida alimony guidelines recommend certain types of alimony based on the duration of the marriage and other factors. The Florida Spousal Support statute categorizes marriages as long-term (more than twenty years) moderate-term (between ten and twenty years), and short-term (less than 10 years).

What Are the Types of Alimony Under Florida Law? 

According to Florida Statutes Chapter 61 Section 08 (1)(a), there are four types of alimony. The four types of alimony in Florida are listed below. 

  • bridge-the-gap
  • rehabilitative
  • durational
  • temporary

Each type of alimony is intended for a specific purpose and duration. The type of alimony awarded by a Florida court is determined by the specific details of each divorce case. As of July 1, 2023, Florida law no longer allows courts to award permanent alimony. Courts can order that alimony be paid as a lump sum or in periodic payments..

What is Bridge-the-Gap Alimony in Florida? 

In Florida, bridge-the-gap Alimony helps the recipient spouse meet financial obligations while transitioning from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is outlined in Florida Statute 61.08 (5). Bridge-the-gap support is limited to two years and terminates if the contributing spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries. Bridge-the-gap alimony can be awarded as a monthly payment or a lump sum payment. In Florida, bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified in amount or duration of the payments.

The purpose of bridge-the-gap alimony is to help spouses who qualify “bridge the gap” between married and divorced life.

Who Qualifies for Bridge-the-Gap Spousal Support in Florida?

In Florida, bridge-the-gap alimony is typically awarded to a divorcing spouse in a short-term marriage during which they were financially dependent on the other spouse. To qualify for bridge-the-gap alimony A divorcing spouse must demonstrate a difficulty in meeting their basic financial needs after divorce in order to qualify for bridge-the-gap alimony. To demonstrate a difficulty meeting their basic financial needs, the spouse may provide the court with pay stubs, bank statements, and a detailed breakdown of their expenses.

What is Rehabilitative Alimony in Florida? 

In Florida, rehabilitative alimony is designed to provide financial support for a spouse while he or she establishes or reestablishes the ability to support themselves. Rehabilitative alimony is often awarded for spouses who chose to play a supportive role during their marriage. For example: Rehabilitative alimony may be used to fund college expenses or career counseling sessions.

Under Florida Statute §61.08 (6), rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing self-sufficiency through either the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or the acquisition of the education, training, or work experience required to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials.

Before rehabilitative alimony is awarded, the spouse requesting alimony must provide a specific and defined rehabilitative plan, including costs, duration, and how it will result in the receiving spouse becoming self-sufficient. The duration of rehabilitative support is not rigidly limited.

Rehabilitative alimony in Florida can be modified or terminated if there is a “substantial change in circumstances”.. Modification can also occur upon noncompliance, completion, or modification of the rehabilitative plan.

Does Florida Allow Permanent Alimony?

As of July 1, 2023, Florida law no longer allows for permanent alimony. This was enacted by the Florida Alimony Reform Act.

What is Durational Alimony Under Florida Law? 

Durational alimony provides the receiving spouse with financial support for a specific amount of time after the divorce. Generally durational alimony payments cannot exceed the length of the marriage. It is not applicable for marriages lasting less than three (3) years. 

Florida Statute 61.08(8)(b) specifies the following time limits on durational alimony. 

  • ≤ 50% of a short-term marriage (< ten  (10) years)
  • ≤ 60% of a moderate-term marriage (between ten (10) & twenty (20) years)
  • ≤ 75% of a long-term marriage (> twenty (20) years)

Durational alimony is modifiable based on a substantial change in circumstances as defined in Florida Statute 61.15. Durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party, or the remarriage of the payee.  

What is Temporary Alimony (Pendente Lite) Under Florida Law? 

Temporary alimony, also known as alimony Pendente Lite, is financial support given by one spouse to the other spouse in order to cover expenses incurred during the pendency of divorce proceedings. Pendente lite alimony is awarded prior to a divorce being finalized.

Temporary alimony exists in Florida because divorce cases can take a long time to settle, sometimes even years. In the meantime, the recipient may not have enough money to support their children, pay for basic needs like rent or groceries, or even pay their lawyer to represent them in the divorce process. Since Florida courts are aware of this and know that alimony may be given at the end of the case, they often give alimony Pendente Lite to help the party who needs it. Alimony Pendente Lite can be given based on a motion, a petition, or a counter-petition if it is asked for in Florida.

Under Florida Statute 61.071, the court grants a reasonable amount for Pendente Lite alimony if a party in a divorce proceeding requests it, and if their request is well-founded. The judge may order one spouse to pay Pendente Lite alimony if the couple is separated but the divorce has not yet been finalized. Pendente Lite alimony is typically temporary and terminates when the divorce is finalized. However, it may be substituted with a different type of alimony. Since Divorce proceedings can take months or years, Pendente Lite is initiated for the interim.

Certain factors, such as standard of living, duration of the marriage, and each spouse’s contribution to the marriage as a whole, are considered in Florida family courts when determining whether pendente lite should be awarded.  

What is a Lump Sum Spousal Support Payment? 

Lump Sum spousal support is a single monetary award that is to be paid all at once. Lump sum spousal support provides spouses with everything they are owed immediately. Under Florida Statute 61.08(1), the court may order periodic payments, lump sum payments, or both in any alimony award. 

Before a court can give a lump-sum alimony payment, two things must be true. 

  1. The trial court must find a special reason why alimony should be paid all at once. Once the court decides that there is a special need for lump sum alimony, the court must find that unusual circumstances exist that require an award of support that cannot be changed. 
  2. A decision to give lump sum alimony must be based on special circumstances that go beyond the reasons for giving permanent periodic alimony.

A Judge can order a lump sum payment even if neither party requested it. Lump sum payments are the exception to periodic payments.

Therefore, there must be a good reason for not making periodic payments in order to support ordering a lump sum payment. These following are legitimate reasons for awarding spousal support as a lump sum.

  • Payor’s hostility, persistent underemployment, or precarious employment.
  • The payor has enough assets to pay a lump sum.
  • The payor is about to leave or has already left the jurisdiction.
  • A lump sum is preferable to compensate the recipient for lost pension benefits, a reduction in career opportunities and earning potential, or an increase in career opportunities and earning potential for the payor.
  • A deficiency has occurred in the payment of interim support.
  • Payor has a history of spending down assets.
  • The payor is unreliable. 
  • Advanced age of payor. The spouse’s age or health may make it difficult to pay. Older parties often have financial or health issues. The payor spouse may die, become disabled, have lower income, and higher expenses. 

The same principles that guide periodic payments apply to lump sum payments: the length of marriage, the functions performed by each spouse, and any agreement between the spouses.

What Are the Advantages of Lump Sum Spousal Support Payments?

The following are advantages of lump-sum spousal maintenance. 

  • The paying spouse has no future obligation
  • The receiving spouse has no concern of future payments being withheld
  • Immediate access to funds makes it easier to buy a house, pay off debts, or go back to school.
What Are the Disadvantages of Lump Sum Spousal Support Payments?

The following are disadvantages of lump-sum spousal maintenance.

  • Creditors may seek alimony if a former spouse declares bankruptcy.
  • Lump-sum alimony may also disqualify a spouse from public benefits, student aid, and tax breaks.

Lump sum spousal support payments are taxable.

Can Lump Sum Spousal Orders Be Modified? 

No, Lump Sum Spousal Orders cannot be modified. Non-modifiable alimony is defined as support that is given in full as a set sum. Lump sum spousal payments cannot be modified because it creates a vested right not subject to modification.

Can Spousal Support Orders Be Modified in Florida? 

Yes, spousal support orders can be modified in Florida. If alimony is awarded in the divorce decree, Section 61.14 of the Florida Statutes allows most types of alimony to be modified or terminated if there is an unexpected, involuntary, and substantial change in circumstances that affects the former spouse’s ability to pay or the other former spouse’s need for alimony.

Examples of significant adjustments could be, but are not limited to:

  • Health problems
  • Long-term unemployment
  • Gifts 
  • A sizable raise 
  • A sizable inheritance 
  • Lottery winnings 
  • The availability of health insurance 
  • The payor’s long-term involuntary decreased ability to pay 
  • Retirement
  • Voluntary well-considered changes in circumstances.
  • Payee remarries 
  • Payee commits fraud to obtain alimony

In general, the following factors and situations do not justify a modification of alimony in Florida.

  • Expenses of a second marriage 
  • Moderate evidence of the payee’s financial improvement 
  • Award of lump sum alimony or bridge-the-gap alimony
  • separation and divorce agreements that expressly waive the right to modify alimony
  • Leaving a job voluntarily 
  • Being fired intentionally

A support, maintenance, or alimony order may be modified by the court retroactively to the date of the original filing of the action or through a supplemental action for modification. A judge only lowers or stops paying alimony if a Supplemental Petition to Modify Alimony is properly filed and approved in a Final Order for Modification.

Is Alimony Required in Florida?

No, alimony is not required in a Florida divorce. The decision to award alimony is based on the discretion of the court and adheres to the rule that the receiving spouse must demonstrate a need for alimony, and the paying spouse must have the financial resources to pay it.

Who Qualifies for Alimony Payments in Florida? 

Qualification for alimony in Florida is based upon the financial need of the recipient spouse and the ability of the paying spouse to pay. Florida Statute 61.08 (2) outlines the qualifications to determine whether to award alimony. First, the court determines whether either party has a genuine need for alimony and whether either party has the financial ability to pay alimony. The following factors are considered when determining if a spouse qualifies for alimony payments.

  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  • The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  • The parties’ earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability, as well as the time needed to gain sufficient education or training to find suitable employment.
  • Each party’s contribution to the marriage, such as homemaking, child care, education, and career building.
  • The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
  • 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 non-taxable, non-deductible payment.
  • All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

In addition, Florida courts may also consider whether both spouses committed adultery during the marriage and how the affair affected the couple’s marital assets.

Judges utilize no formula to determine alimony amounts and types. The court makes sure that the paying spouse’s net income is equal to or greater than the supported spouse’s. 

Can You Waive Your Rights to Alimony in Florida? 

Yes, spouses can waive their rights to alimony in Florida in prenuptial agreements, separation contracts, and divorce decrees. This means that a person can give up their right to alimony before or after they get married.

In Florida marriages, there are certain support obligations that cannot be waived by contract. A spouse cannot renounce their right to temporary alimony during the divorce process, even if they waived their right to spousal support once the divorce has been finalized. A person cannot also relinquish the right to have their spouse pay their attorney fees during the divorce proceeding. This is to avoid issues in which one spouse lacks adequate legal representation during the divorce.

Can a Husband Get Alimony in Florida?

Yes, a husband can get alimony in Florida if it can be proven that he has a financial need and his spouse has the capacity to pay. Gender is not a determining factor when considering an award of alimony during divorce proceedings.

Can Alimony Be Negotiated During Divorce Mediation in Florida?

Yes, alimony can be negotiated during divorce mediation in Florida. Courts generally require divorcing couples to attend divorce mediation to resolve their differences before going to court. Mediation allows couples to come up with creative alimony agreements that might not be offered by a court during litigation.

How Is Alimony Calculated in a Florida Divorce? 

According to Florida divorce laws, spousal support payments are calculated based on the requesting party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. There is no mathematical formula for calculating alimony. The burden is on the party requesting alimony to establish their need and the other party’s ability to pay. Although there is no set formula or rule for calculating alimony in Florida, the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers provides a guideline that takes 30% of the payer’s gross annual income minus 20% of the payee’s gross annual income to estimate alimony.

Alimony is determined based on the length of a couple’s marriage and their respective financial and personal requirements. In some instances, the court determines that an alimony order for one spouse in a marriage is unnecessary.

For example the paying spouse earns $100,000 annually, while the receiving spouse earns $50,000. $10,000 is deducted from $30,000, leaving $20,000. This amount is then distributed in monthly payments. If the receiving spouse was a stay-at-home during the marriage, their income could have been zero. In that case, the payer’s income is reduced to 30% of their earnings.              

What Factors Are Considered By the Courts When Determining Alimony Payments? 

Florida Courts consider the following factors when determining Alimony payments.

  • Financial Resources and Earning Capacity of Each Spouse
  • Length of Marriage
  • Standard of Living during the Marriage
  • each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
  • Age and Health of Each Spouse

Financial Resources and Earning Capacity of Each Spouse

The financial resources of each spouse, including non-marital and marital assets, salaries, bonuses, and other sources of income, are examined in order to arrive at an equitable alimony award..

The earning potential of each spouse is an important factor in the awarding of spousal support. Earning potential is the amount of income that a spouse is expected to earn based on their level of education, job training, and/or special skills. Courts further analyze this issue by dividing it into these specific factors. 

  • Whether a spouse has “marketable” job skills. 
  • If their skills are in demand or obsolete. 
  • Whether the spouse needs financial support for additional education or training. 
  • The court may also consider whether raising children, caring for the home, or becoming ill limits a spouse’s earning potential.

After considering these factors, a Florida court judge will use the following calculation to determine alimony awards.

It is usually 30% of the payer’s gross annual income less 20% of the payee’s gross annual income. After calculating this amount, the judge decides whether the payor has the ability to pay and whether the payee actually requires alimony.

As an example, consider the following:

The gross annual income of Spouse #1 (payor) is $250,000.

30% of $100,000 is $75,000.

The gross annual income of Spouse #2 (payee) is $35,000.

20% of $70,000 equals $7,000.

The calculated alimony would be $68,000 per year based on this information.

The payee’s net income (alimony plus other income) cannot, however, exceed 40% of the gross income of both parties combined.

Length of Marriage

The length of marriage is an important factor in determining whether to award alimony, and how much to award. Florida Statutes 61.08 (4) categorizes marriages as long-term marriages, moderate-term marriages, and short-term marriages. A long-term marriage is one that lasts more than twenty (20) years. A moderate-term marriage is one that lasts between ten (10) and twenty (20) years. A short-term marriage is one that lasts less than 10 years. 

Due to the increased financial dependence between spouses, longer marriages typically have higher alimony payments. However, unless exceptional circumstances exist, shorter marriages are less likely to have alimony awarded to them.

Standard of Living During the Marriage

The standard of living during a marriage is a factor in determining an alimony award. The courts’ objective when awarding alimony is to preserve the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage. Courts evaluate the value of assets such as homes, vehicles, and other valuable possessions, as well as the spending habits, vacationing habits, and recreational lifestyle of the couple. This factor is magnified in long-term relationships.

Each Spouse’s Contribution to the Marriage 

The contribution of each spouse to the marriage is taken into account when awarding alimony. Because spouses make non-financial contributions, the court recognises actions such as child rearing, homemaking, and efforts made towards the other spouse’s career development.  Examples of marital contribution include A husband who resigned from his job and relocated because his wife accepted a new job.

Age and Health of Each Spouse

Age and health are factors that are considered when determining alimony. The age and health of the spouse will also be taken into account by the court. If the recipient partner is unlikely to become financially independent, they might decide to grant longer-term alimony.

When deciding whether and/or how much alimony will be awarded, the courts take into account each party’s age, mental and physical health. A party’s age, disability, or health issues increase the likelihood and dollar amount of alimony. A young, healthy person would have a lower chance of receiving alimony.

Do Child Support Payments Affect Alimony Payments in Florida?

Yes. In the State of Florida, when a spouse is awarded alimony, the amount of spousal support awarded by the court is directly affected by the child support they receive. If you are receiving alimony and child support, the child support payments you receive will be lower because the alimony you also receive will increase your income which tends to lower you child support.

Does Child Custody Affect Alimony Payments in Florida?

Yes, Florida courts will consider child custody arrangements when determining if alimony is appropriate. If one spouse is granted primary physical custody of the children (making them the custodial parent), this custodial parent often takes on additional expenses related to raising the children. This can impact their need for financial support.

How is Imputed Income Used in Determining Alimony Payments?

Florida courts have ruled that when deciding whether to impute (or assign) income for the purpose of awarding alimony, they will take into account a spouse’s or parent’s voluntary unemployment or underemployment. An ex-spouse must make an effort to help with support if they are able to do so. According to Florida law, income can be attributed to someone who is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed unless the court determines that their situation is caused by factors outside of their control.

There is no statute mandating the imputation of income for alimony purposes; however, Florida courts typically impute income in such cases. It is possible to impute income to either spouse or both parties. When an ex-spouse seeks alimony, typically the paying spouse’s income is imputed.

According to Florida Statutes 61.30(2)(b), if a party is underemployed, the trial court must take into account their “employment potential and probable earnings level” based on their “recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community, if such information is available”. To attribute income to a spouse earning less than she could with her best efforts, there must be competent, substantial evidence.

Florida law says that the person who wants to impute income must show:

1. The unemployment or underemployment is done on purpose. 

2. The amount and source of the imputed income are determined by showing proof of earnings from jobs for which the party is qualified based on education, experience, current licensure, or place of residence, taking into account the parties’ time-sharing arrangements and how they have used their time-sharing rights in the parenting plan or court order.

In addition, the law states that income cannot be presumed based on:

1. Income records that are more than five years old at the time of the hearing or trial at which imputation is sought; or

2. Income at a level that a party has never earned before, unless recently degreed, licenced, certified, relicensed, or recertified and thus qualified for, subject to geographic location, with due consideration of the parties’ existing time-sharing schedule and their historical exercise of the parenting plan or relevant order.

How Long Do Spousal Support Payments Last? 

Spousal Support Payments in Florida legally end in the following circumstances as mentioned in section 61.14 of Florida statutes. Most of the time, alimony isn’t meant to be a permanent situation for either spouse after a divorce, and there are situations that make alimony payments between former couples stop.

  1. A supportive relationship: The court can terminate alimony if it finds in writing that the payee has a supportive relationship with a person with whom they live. The payor must prove a supportive relationship by a preponderance of the evidence to reduce or terminate alimony under this paragraph.
  • The extent to which the payee and the other person have behaved like a married couple by using the same last name, a common mailing address, calling each other “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise showing a permanent supportive relationship.
  • The payee’s permanent residence with the other person.
  • The payee’s and the other person’s financial interdependence.
  •  The extent to which the payee has supported the other.
  • The extent to which the payee or the other person has provided valuable services to the other or their company or employer.
  • Whether the payee and the other person have created or improved something of value together.
  • Whether the payee and other person jointly purchased real or personal property.
  • Proof that the payee and the other person have a property-sharing or support agreement.
  • Proof of an implied property sharing or support agreement between the payee and the other person.
  • Whether the payee and the other person have supported each other’s children without legal obligation.
  1. Alimony can be terminated if the court gets important documents that show a big change in circumstances that wasn’t foreseen when the alimony award was made.
  2. Change of Income. Involuntary income loss may terminate alimony. The court compares both parties’ financial status while executing the order to when the paying party requests it. The paying party may also reconsider alimony based on a “change in income.” If they can justify their reasoning and show that the receiving spouse has a supportive relationship beyond the alimony reward, termination petition may be granted.
  3. Termination by Agreement. Agreement can end alimony. Spousal support payments can end at a set time depending on the type of alimony agreed upon in the divorce settlement. Temporary and bridge-the-gap alimony typically end when a divorce is finalized. Alimony can end by agreement if the paying spouse retires or the receiving spouse gets a job that pays a certain amount.
  4. Termination by Cohabitation. Cohabitation can end alimony payments. If the supported spouse cohabitates with another person, which is defined as living with and receiving financial support from a non-related person. 

Exception: Terms of Marital Settlement Agreement

How Are Spousal Support Payments Enforced in Florida? 

In Florida, spousal support payments are enforced by a court order, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the State Disbursement Unit, and the Department of Revenue according to Florida statute 61.17 and 61.14 (2021) Chapter 61.  

Under Florida Statute 61.17, the person to whom the alimony is payable can get a certified copy of the order or judgment and file it with a complaint for enforcement in the circuit court for the county.

Under Florida Statute 61.14, if the payor subsequently fails to pay alimony and a contempt hearing is held, the original court order creates a presumption that the payor has the current ability to pay the alimony and purge himself or herself of the contempt. At the contempt hearing, the obligor bears the burden of proof to demonstrate that he or she lacks the capacity to purge the contempt. This presumption is adopted under section 61.08 to implement the state’s public policy that marriages be maintained. In its order, the court must state the reasons for granting or denying the contempt. 

What Are the Consequences for Not Paying alimony in Florida? 

The consequences for not paying alimony in Florida include fail to pay being found in contempt of court, fine, or imprisonment. However, judges usually order that the non-paying party’s wages be garnished, which automatically transfers a portion of the paying spouse’s wages to an alimony account. Courts can seize a non-compliant spouse’s valuable assets to pay alimony. This could include bank accounts, wages, rental income, property, dividends, and royalties. Florida judges can place liens on the non-paying party’s property, preventing them from selling it until they pay. Finally, courts can seize the spouse’s income tax refund for violating the order.

Motion for Contempt

A failure to comply with an alimony order is regarded as contempt of court because it is regarded as a court order. In cases where the paying spouse has the means to pay but wilfully chooses not to, the judge determines the proper sanction for contempt. This may entail paying a fine, serving jail time, or both. Additionally, separate actions for contempt can be brought for each missed payment if the paying spouse repeatedly misses alimony payments.

Income Withholding or Wage Garnishment

In conjunction with a judgment lien, a writ of garnishment may be used to deduct unpaid alimony from the paying spouse’s earnings or paychecks. This is one of the most popular methods of enforcement in Florida, particularly when the paying spouse lacks significant assets that can be seized through the use of a writ of execution. A Florida family court judge may also direct that the garnishment writ be used “continuing” to compel the paying spouse to make regular alimony payments to the receiving spouse.

Garnishments are not only applicable to wages. Additionally, other sources of income might be garnished such as a pension. 

Property Liens or Seizure

Alimony recipients have the legal right to place a lien on the property of the spouse who is responsible for making alimony payments if the payor spouse fails to do so. A property lien is when a court places a lien on the property of the spouse who is responsible for paying alimony. This lien prevents the property from being sold until the alimony obligation has been paid in full. A lien is a legal claim that is attached to property, such as a house or a car, and can only be removed through the court system.

Courts  have  the authority to order the seizure of assets in order to make up for the missed payments. This may result in the court taking possession of the payor’s bank accounts, investments, or other valuable assets. 

What Are Valid Reasons for Not Paying Alimony in Florida? 

In the state of Florida, few of the valid reasons for not having to pay alimony include.

  • Evidence that the former spouse has a significant potential for earning more money.
  • Indications that the couple was only married for a very brief period of time.
  • The loss of one’s job.
  • Problems with one’s health that prevent them from earning a living for themselves.
  • Proof that spouse is unable to pay the alimony that the other spouse is requesting or that the other spouse does not actually require it.
  • Proof that the spouse has taken on a significant amount of debt and liabilities that may prevent the spouse from being able to pay alimony if he/she is ordered to do so.
  • There must be evidence that the party who is receiving alimony and the party who is paying alimony have behaved in a manner consistent with that of a married couple.
  • Proof that the parties have combined their assets and net income by either pooling them or commingling them.
  • Documentation demonstrating adequate child care and schooling for any minor children who may be involved during the course of the marriage.
  • Remarriage

If any spouse is looking for a way to get out of having to pay alimony, he/she will have to provide the court with evidence that demonstrates why he/she should not be required to do so. This could include evidence that the ex-spouse has a significant earning capacity or that the length of the marriage was very short.

How Does Remarriage or Cohabitation Impact Spousal Support Payments in Florida? 

In Florida, if a person receiving alimony remarries, the court terminates paying spouse’s alimony obligations automatically. Florida’s cohabitation laws require that the relationship substantially changes the receiving spouses need for financial support from the paying spouse.

According to Florida Statute 61.08, payments are no longer required as of the date of the second marriage. Legally, no affirmative action is required. In other words, the paying spouse has the option to discontinue support.

In addition, the receiving spouse must inform their ex-spouse of their new marriage. If notice is not provided and as a result, unnecessary alimony payments are made, a Florida court may order reimbursement.

Remarriage of the Obligor Does Not Affect Alimony Obligations. The law of Florida only terminates alimony obligations if the recipient spouse remarries. If the support-paying spouse remarries, this has no direct effect on his or her legal obligations.

There are various effects of remarriage on maintenance payments. Ex-spouses who negotiate their own divorce agreements may include alimony provisions, such as the impact of remarriage on alimony. Unless ex-spouses agree otherwise, certain rules will govern how remarriage.

How Does Cohabitation Affect Alimony in Florida?

In Florida, if an ex-spouse that is receiving alimony begins living with a new partner in a way that resembles a supportive relationship the paying spouse may request to modify or terminate the alimony payments.

What Are the Tax Implications of Spousal Support Payments in Florida? 

Spousal support payments have substantial tax implications. Alimony payments cannot be deducted from a payor spouse’s annual taxable income. On the other hand, this means that the spouse receiving alimony payments must not include that amount in their annual taxable income. 

In certain instances, a divorcing couple may determine that a lump sum alimony payment structure meets their individual needs the best. This option offers the advantage of concluding the entire alimony process if sufficient funds are available. Lump sum alimony amount is taxable for the recipient.