Alimony in Florida

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Alimony Laws in Florida


Florida Alimony Laws

61.071  Alimony pendente lite; suit money.--In every proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, a party may claim alimony and suit money in the petition or by motion, and if the petition is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor. If a party in any proceeding for dissolution of marriage claims alimony or suit money in his or her answer or by motion, and the answer or motion is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum therefor.

61.08  Alimony.--

(1)  In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be rehabilitative or permanent in nature. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. In all dissolution actions, the court shall include findings of fact relative to the factors enumerated in subsection (2) supporting an award or denial of alimony.

(2)  In determining a proper award of alimony or maintenance, the court shall consider all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to:

(a)  The standard of living established during the marriage.

(b)  The duration of the marriage.

(c)  The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.

(d)  The financial resources of each party, the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.

(e)  When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.

(f)  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.

(g)  All sources of income available to either party.

The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

(3)  To the extent necessary to protect an award of alimony, the court may order any party who is ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such alimony award with any other assets which may be suitable for that purpose.

(4)(a)  With respect to any order requiring the payment of alimony entered on or after January 1, 1985, unless the provisions of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) apply, the court shall direct in the order that the payments of alimony be made through the appropriate depository as provided in s. 61.181.

(b)  With respect to any order requiring the payment of alimony entered before January 1, 1985, upon the subsequent appearance, on or after that date, of one or both parties before the court having jurisdiction for the purpose of modifying or enforcing the order or in any other proceeding related to the order, or upon the application of either party, unless the provisions of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) apply, the court shall modify the terms of the order as necessary to direct that payments of alimony be made through the appropriate depository as provided in s. 61.181.

(c)  If there is no minor child, alimony payments need not be directed through the depository.

(d)1.  If there is a minor child of the parties and both parties so request, the court may order that alimony payments need not be directed through the depository. In this case, the order of support shall provide, or be deemed to provide, that either party may subsequently apply to the depository to require that payments be made through the depository. The court shall provide a copy of the order to the depository.

2.  If the provisions of subparagraph 1. apply, either party may subsequently file with the depository an affidavit alleging default or arrearages in payment and stating that the party wishes to initiate participation in the depository program. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to the court and the other party or parties. Fifteen days after receipt of the affidavit, the depository shall notify all parties that future payments shall be directed to the depository.

3.  In IV-D cases, the IV-D agency shall have the same rights as the obligee in requesting that payments be made through the depository.

61.09  Alimony and child support unconnected with dissolution.--If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse and support of his or her minor child fails to do so, the spouse who is not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and for support for the child without seeking dissolution of marriage, and the court shall enter an order as it deems just and proper.

Effect of Changes to 61.14

The amended Fla. Stat. s. 61.14 authorizes the court to terminate an award of alimony where the court has made specific written findings, as proven by the payor through a preponderance of the evidence, that a "supportive relationship" exists between the recipient and a person with whom the recipient resides. Provisions of the amendment identify a variety of criteria to be used in determining whether a supportive relationship exists. These provisions provide an alternate method to a court to terminate alimony, without requiring the court to make a threshold determination of a change in financial circumstances, as was previously required.

In determining whether a supportive relationship exists, the court shall give consideration to the following factors to file alimony in Florida:

* Whether the obligee and the other person hold themselves out as a married couple, engaging in conduct such as using the same last name and a common mailing address, referring to each other as "my husband" or "my wife," or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship;

* The length of time that the obligee has resided in a permanent place of abode with another person who is not related by blood or affinity;

* The extent to which the obligee and other person have combined their assets or income or have otherwise demonstrated financial interdependence;

* The extent to which either the obligee or the other person supports the other, either in whole or in part;

* 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 other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value;

* Whether the obligee and other person have made a joint purchase of real or personal property;

* Whether there is evidence to show that the obligee and the other person have an express or implied agreement regarding property sharing and support;

* Whether the obligee and the other person have supported the children of one another, regardless of any legal obligation. Note that this amendment provides that proof of a conjugal relationship is not required. In so doing, the revised statute extends the court's authority to terminate alimony to those situations in which the obligee is in a platonic, live-in relationship with another person, where there is evidence of a supportive relationship between the obligee and the other person, regardless of gender.



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