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Contemplating a divorce can be overwhelming and frightening. There are several reasons for individuals wanting to leave their marriage, infidelity or spousal abuse. Financially dependent spouses can find the process even more intimidating. You may want to leave but are worried that doing so will negatively impact your financial quality of life.

Knowing when you are eligible for spousal support can help you get a better understanding of what your financial situation will be after a divorce. For many people, knowing that alimony is a possibility means they feel like they have the financial freedom to divorce. Contact a Miramar Beach spousal support lawyer to find out your potential rights and obligations in a divorce. Our committed family law attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon are ready to help you move forward.

Florida’s Alimony Is Needs-Based

In the state of Florida, spousal maintenance is not automatic. A divorce will not trigger spousal support payments to one spouse unless that spouse can demonstrate a financial need. The court will use the spouses’ standard of living while married when determining financial need.

The court will also consider whether the financial need is short-term or long-term. Under Florida Statutes § 61.08, there are five different types of alimony:


Temporary alimony only lasts for the duration of the divorce proceeding. Once the court enters a final judgment, the spousal maintenance ends. It should help spouses while the court determines the final disposition of the marital assets.


Bridge-the-gap spousal maintenance lasts a little longer than temporary support but is also transitional. The goal is to give the spouses the assets they need to transition from married to single.


Rehabilitative alimony is similar to bridge-the-gap support but usually lasts longer. It generally provides support while a spouse gets the education or training they need to reenter the workforce.


Durational spousal maintenance lasts for a specific period, which cannot be longer than the length of the marriage. Courts may award it in short-term or moderate-term marriages. Durational spousal maintenance may be a helpful solution if the parties want the primary parent to remain a stay-at-home parent until the children go to school and then transition back to work.


Permanent alimony is the court’s less favored option. They generally only award it to people who have been in moderate or long-term marriages. This spousal support lasts until one of the spouses dies or until the spouse receiving support remarries. However, avoiding remarrying does not guarantee continued spousal support—proof of a supportive relationship can also end the obligation. A seasoned lawyer in Miramar Beach may suggest petitioning for several types of spousal support.

Determining the Amount and Duration of Spousal Support

While Florida courts use a formula to calculate most child support obligations, it is not similar to the formula that determines spousal support. Alimony obligations depend on many factors, not just each party’s earning capacity.

First, the court must determine whether you need spousal support. They will look at marital and non-marital assets. If each party can take care of themselves financially, then the court won’t order spousal support. However, keep in mind that the court will use the couple’s married standard of living to make that determination.

Next, the court will look at the length of the marriage. A longer marriage does not necessarily translate into more significant spousal maintenance obligations. However, it does increase the risk of larger payments and payments that last for a longer period.

Another factor is the relative earning capabilities. Suppose one partner has a much higher earning potential. In that case, spousal support is more likely, at least until the other partner can get the education, training, or experience to have the same earning level.

Finally, the court will examine the parties’ contributions to the marriage. Many times, financially dependent spouses play a critical role in promoting their spouse’s career. In addition, homemaking and child care free up time for the other spouse. The court will attempt to compensate that unearned income.

A skilled Miramar Beach attorney could review all these factors to estimate the amount and duration of spousal support you may be entitled to receive.

Meet With a Miramar Beach Alimony Attorney

Getting a divorce can be a liberating but also frightening experience. It can take a lot of courage to leave an unhealthy or abusive situation. Whether or not you initiated the events leading to a divorce, you may find yourself eager to enjoy your new life. Financial constraints can keep that from happening. Schedule an appointment with a Miramar Beach spousal support lawyer at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon. They can give you the information you need to make confident decisions about your divorce.