Legal Information: Florida

Divorce

Updated: 
November 10, 2017

Can I get alimony? What factors will a judge consider?

Alimony is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse and can be awarded when a divorce is granted.1  (In addition, pendente lite alimony can be granted during a divorce proceeding.)2  If you request alimony, the judge will decide if you have an actual need for alimony and if your spouse has the ability to pay it.  The judge can order alimony for either an indefinite period of time, or s/he can order a time-limited award, as explained in What types of alimony are there?3

If the judge decides to grant you or your spouse alimony, the judge will consider certain factors to determine a fair amount to award.  These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • the standard of living during the marriage;
  • the length of the marriage;
  • the age, physical condition, and emotional condition of you and your spouse;
  • the financial resources of you and your spouse, including the distribution of marital and non-marital assets and debts;
  • the earning potential, educational levels, career levels, and the employability of you and your spouse;
  • if applicable, the time it would take for you or your spouse to gain the necessary education or training needed to find appropriate employment;
  • the contributions made by you or your spouse during the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of you or your spouse;
  • the responsibilities you or your spouse may have regarding any minor children from the marriage;
  • the tax treatment and consequences to you and your spouse of any alimony award;
  • all sources of available income to you and your spouse, including income available through investments; and
  • any other factor necessary for there to be fairness and justice between you and your spouse.3

In addition, the judge may order the spouse who is paying spousal support to keep a life insurance policy or secure assets to protect the ongoing payment of support.4

1 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(1)
2 Fla. Stat. § 61.071
3 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(2)
4 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(3)