On July 1, 2010 section 61.08 of the Florida Statues regarding alimony was amended. In general, the amendments clarify the law on alimony and allow for an award of more than one type of alimony.
The amendments also provide for the classification and determination of the length of a marriage. The amendments define and clarify alimony in a short-term and long-term marriage, and create a new category of moderate-term marriage. The amendments also created a new form of alimony called “durational alimony” and provides guidance as to when such and award would be appropriate.
Under the current law there are the following types of alimony:
In a petition for alimony pursuant to Florida Statute 61.08 the court must consider the following criteria:
- 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 earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
- 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 nontaxable, nondeductible 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 a petition for alimony pursuant to Florida Statute 61.09, Florida law permits an award of alimony in even when a divorce is not sought. If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse fails to do so, the spouse how is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony without seeking a dissolution of marriage.
Cohabitation – How Does It Effect Alimony?
Effective July 1, 2010 an award of permanent periodic alimony may be modified or terminated upon the existence of a financially supportive relationship.
If the court determines that a companion contributes financially and reduces the living expenses of the person that receives alimony, the court has the authority to reduce that person’s award of alimony, and can even terminate alimony altogether.
Florida statute 61.14 requires that the court consider the following factors in determining whether to reduce or terminate alimony:
- The extent to which the obligee and the other person have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other in terms such as “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.
- The period of time that the obligee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of abode.
- The extent to which the obligee and the other person have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence.
- The extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part.
- The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other.
- The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other’s company or employer.
- Whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value.
- Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
- Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support.
- Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
- Whether the obligee and the other person have provided support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal duty to do so.