Guidelines for Handling Alimony and Child Support in a Florida Divorce

If you are facing a potential divorce or you are already in the process of getting divorced, you might be wondering what to expect in the coming months when it comes to handling alimony and child support in a Florida divorce. While this might be a difficult experience, Florida has specific regulations for determining how alimony and child support are handled in our state.

Alimony

Florida Statute 61.08 deals specifically with alimony. Some of the things taken into account when determining alimony are the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the age and physical condition of both parties, and sources of income or earning capabilities of both parties.

In Florida, marriage lengths are classified into one of three categories. Short-term marriages are marriages that last less than 7 years. Moderate-term marriages last from 7 to 17 years. A long-term marriage is anything over 17 years. The length of the marriage is considered the time from the marriage date to the date of filing of the dissolution of the marriage.

Alimony might be awarded either on a temporary or permanent basis. Here is a look at the different types of alimony in Florida:

  • Bridge-the-gap alimony is short-term alimony, which lasts no more than two years. The alimony terminates if either party dies or if the party receiving alimony remarries.
  • Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help the person become self-sufficient. This includes things like helping the person redevelop previous skills or credentials or to help the person acquire the educational skills or training necessary to obtain employment. With rehabilitative alimony, there must be a plan in place to gain the skills, training, or education to become self-sufficient. Alimony ends upon noncompliance with the plan or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.
  • Durational alimony is a temporary alimony, which may not exceed the length of the marriage. The death of either party, as well as remarriage of the receiving party terminates the durational alimony.
  • Permanent alimony is awarded when other forms of alimony are deemed inappropriate. It ends upon the death of either person or upon the remarriage of the receiving individual. It may also be terminated or modified if circumstances change for either person.

Child Support

According to Florida Statute 61.29, child support is based upon the understanding that both parents are responsible for financially supporting minor or legally dependent children. Florida Statute 61.30 looks at how a parent’s expected contribution is determined. It is based upon the person’s income, which includes salary, bonuses, disability benefits, and other reoccurring forms of income. The parent’s expected contribution goes up as the number of children needing support increases.

While the chart is not exact, minimum child support payments based upon the person’s income and number of children are included on the Florida Statute 61.30 page. This will give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to child support payments.

If you are going through a divorce, contact us. We will work to make sure you are treated fairly during the proceedings.