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What factors does a court look at in awarding alimony?

Miami residents often depend heavily on their loved ones for emotional and financial support. This is particularly true for spouses, whose personal and professional lives are heavily influenced by the other spouse. The loss of support can be difficult when a divorce occurs between the spouses.

Often times, the divorce may have a greater impact on one spouse than another when it comes to the financial consequences. One spouse may not earn nearly as high of income as the other, for instance, which can create serious discrepancies in the standard of living between the spouses after the divorce.

In recognition of this discrepancy, Florida law allows for an award of alimony in certain cases. The alimony, or spousal support, is intended to bridge the financial gap between the spouses.

In deciding whether to award alimony or not, the court will be guided by a number of factors that are set out under Florida law. These factors are designed to determine whether a need for alimony exists, as well as whether the other party has an ability to pay alimony.

Courts may look at the standard of living the couple had during the marriage and the duration of the marriage. Courts may further consider the age and condition of each party, as well as the financial resources of each party, their earning capacities and their contributions during the marriage. Other financial considerations, like tax consequences or other sources of income that are available, may also play into the court's decision. What's more, the court can consider non-financial issues as well, including the adultery of either spouse.

Ultimately, there are a wide variety of issues to consider in determining whether alimony is appropriate. Individuals should be aware of these factors and how the court may reach its decision in order to protect their interests in the divorce.

Source: The 2015 Florida Statutes, "61.08 Alimony," accessed on Oct. 17, 2015

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