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When is an award of alimony warranted in a Dissolution of Marriage

Current Florida Law permits the award of alimony in a dissolution proceeding, if an individual can prove an actual financial need and his/her spouse has the financial ability to pay. If the court, within sound discretion, determines there is a need and ability to pay then the determination of the proper type and form of alimony must be made after consideration of the statutory factors outlined in Florida Statute 61.08.

The length of the marriage also plays an important factor in the court’s ultimate decision. A short term marriage has a duration of less than seven (7) years, a moderate term marriage is a marriage greater than seven (7) years but less than seventeen (17) years and a long term marriage is over seventeen (17) years of marriage.

The different types of alimony pursuant to Florida Statutes 61.071 and 61.08, includes temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, permanent alimony and lump sum alimony.

The Court’s ultimate decision on type, length and amount of alimony is on a case by case basis and within the Court’s sound judicial discretion.

Recently, the Florida Legislatures passed legislation which redefined and limited the award of permanent periodic alimony and Governor Scott vetoed same. Stay tuned to the next legislative session to see if any new legislation is proposed.

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