What is it and when is it awarded?
If you and your spouse have been married less than 17 years and are divorcing, durational alimony may be appropriate. This is a relatively new concept under Florida law. Until the recent change, Florida courts in a divorce could only choose between alimony on a permanent basis and no alimony at all when it came to meeting the monthly ongoing needs of the spouse with the lower income. In shorter marriages, there was no authority to award monthly alimony.
The factors the court will look at to determine durational alimony is appropriate are similar to those involved in determining permanent periodic alimony:
- Duration of the marriage
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Age, physical and emotional condition of each party
- Financial resources of each party
- Earning capacity of each party
- Contribution to the marriage of each party (including child rearing, homemaking, education, career building, etc.)
Durational Alimony in the Florida Statutes
According to 61.08 of the Florida Statutes,
Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.
About Durational Alimony
Like permanent, periodic alimony, the award of durational alimony is appropriate when one spouse is better able to maintain the marital standard of living than the other. The amount awarded will typically be a monthly sum to be paid by the higher earning former spouse to the other. Instead of being permanent, the award by the court will be for a specific number of months or years and cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
Also like permanent, periodic alimony, the amount paid to the other spouse in the form of durational alimony will generally be deductible by the paying spouse on the federal income tax return and taxable to the receiving spouse. If you have questions about durational alimony, write or call and speak with one of the qualified Tampa divorce lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys. We are dedicated to staying current with all changes in the law as to all types of alimony and will be able to discuss your circumstances and your divorce legal needs with you.
Contacting Our Tampa Divorce Law Firm
It is important to work with a divorce law firm that gives you confidence in your case. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our lawyers have decades of combined experience. For years, we have authored the chapter on alimony in the Dissolution of Marriage Manual distributed by the Florida Bar to its lawyers to educate those lawyers on how to handle the alimony aspects of divorce. We are ready to put our experience to work for you.
Contact a Tampa alimony attorney at the firm today to discuss your options.