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Which party generally has to pay alimony in a divorce?

  • By: Andrew Merlo
  • Published: October 15, 2018

In Florida, alimony is based on several factors, including one side’s need for alimony versus the other side’s ability to pay it. There are multiple types of alimony. When the divorce is pending, there is what’s called temporary alimony, which just maintains the status quo. For example, if one party has been paying the mortgage and car payment and the other has been paying the utility bills, then that arrangement could be maintained on a temporary basis during the divorce process. Likewise, one party might also directly pay his spouse a certain amount of alimony on a temporary basis.

Once the divorce is finalized, lifetime or durational alimony may be awarded, which would mean that one spouse would receive a certain amount of money every month for as long as the paying spouse is alive or until the receiving spouse remarries. There’s also bridge-the-gap alimony, which helps someone transition from being supported in a relationship to being on their own. Rehabilitative alimony has a purpose associated with it, such as the purpose of getting a nursing degree in order to be self-sufficient.

When making the decision about alimony, the court will consider the incomes of each party, the lifestyle that the parties have become accustomed to during the marriage, and other things of that nature. People often get divorced while only one spouse is working outside the home and the other is raising the kids. If the parties have enough money to maintain that arrangement, it might be in the best interest of the children to keep the arrangement in place after the divorce. In Florida, there’s no formula for determining the amount of alimony; it is determined on a case-by-case basis. Child support, however, is based on a mathematical formula that takes into account the parents’ income and schedules.

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