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How does a marriage’s duration impact permanent alimony?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2021 | Divorce, Family Law |

In Florida, there are several types of alimony that can be awarded as part of a divorce. Several factors are considered in every case. Often, a spouse who is seeking alimony will request that it be provided permanently. With permanent alimony, certain criteria must be met for the court to agree to it. People might be under the impression that only long-term marriages can result in permanent alimony being awarded. That is not the case. Understanding this is important for both the prospective paying spouse and the receiving spouse.

Knowing the criteria for permanent alimony

With permanent alimony, the goal is to provide for the person who does not have the wherewithal to self-support. Other types of alimony address specific issues. For example, bridge-the-gap alimony is for a person to get back on his or her feet and will have a defined end date. Permanent alimony is for those who cannot be expected to achieve self-sufficiency and need the payments to maintain the standard of living from the marriage. The duration of the marriage can be critical when a person requests permanent alimony. A marriage will be considered one of long duration if it lasted for at least 17 years. Moderate duration is more than seven years, but fewer than 17. Short duration is less than seven years.

The court will consider the standard of living; the emotional and physical conditions of each party; the financial resources; their earning capacity, education level and vocational skills; how much each contributed to the marriage; if there are responsibilities after the divorce such as caring for minor children; taxes; available income; and other factors. These will take precedence in the decision with the duration of the marriage a background factor. The fundamental part of the award will be to ensure that it is fair and reasonable for both.

When seeking permanent alimony, it is wise to have experienced assistance

Family law cases can be complicated and it is imperative to be aware of nuance when the case is heard and decided upon. People who are going through a divorce and are thinking about the future will inevitably have concerns as to how they will make ends meet once the case is complete. Permanent alimony could be part of that if the circumstances warrant it. The duration of the marriage is secondary to other factors such as a person’s capabilities, needs and more. For assistance with alimony or any other part of a case, having professional advice can be vital to achieve a positive outcome.