2 simple alimony decision points

If anyone tells you anything definite about alimony in Florida, it is likely you should take that information with a grain of salt. Even people who have gone through the divorce process and have similar situations to yours may not be good sources of information. Alimony decisions in Florida are a highly discretionary area of the law.

Of course, judges have some limits. For example, you would almost never need to pay permanent alimony if your marriage lasted only a couple of years. In fact, most of the factors the courts take into consideration could easily boil down the following two principles:

1. Time

The first thing judges think about is time. Over the course of a relatively short marriage, it is unlikely your spouse would have come to entirely depend on you for everything. Therefore, you would not usually expect a lot of alimony after only a couple of years of marriage. After 17 years, however, it would be much more likely that your divorce would include some terms for spousal support. Additionally, courts would consider both of your ages.

2. Money

The other factor is money. If both you and your ex had contributed equally to the household, and if you both made about the same salary, there may be no need for either of you to pay alimony. By the same token, if your spouse supported you, there would be no reason for you to pay maintenance. Also, if you had supported your spouse but could not possibly do so when not sharing a home, the court would probably not order you to make payments.

The details of these types of decisions make it nearly impossible to predict exactly how a certain situation would play out. However, if you take a common-sense approach to your financial and marital situation, you may be able to plan for the right level of spousal support.

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