In a Florida divorce action, either spouse may be ordered to provide financial support (i.e. alimony or spousal support) to the other spouse after the marriage has been dissolved. Under some circumstances, a spouse may even be ordered to begin paying temporary alimony before a divorce has been finalized. Generally speaking, the purpose of alimony is to enable a newly divorced person to maintain a state of financial independence.
Under §61.08(2), Florida Statutes, in order to determine that alimony is appropriate, the court must first make a specific factual finding that:
- One spouse has an actual need for financial support; and
- the other spouse has the ability to provide that necessary support.
In addition to determining whether these basic requirements above are met, the court will consider specific factors that are listed in §61.08(2), such as the duration of the marriage and the standard of living that was established during the marriage. Each party will be afforded an opportunity to present evidence, such as financial affidavits and bank records, in support of or in opposition to an award of alimony. If the court has determined that alimony is appropriate, it must then determine what type and amount of alimony that will be awarded.