Guide to Spousal Support in Florida
How is Spousal Support determined in Florida?
Spousal support in Florida follows some fairly strict guidelines, but the state has not adopted a standard formula for cases determined by a judge. Instead of a formal calculator, the state of Florida has passed several laws within the last couple of years that allow judges to award different kinds of spousal support. The laws also let a judge determine the duration of the spousal support in Florida
Please note that all settlements reached in court are the ultimate decision of a judge. You may be able to estimate the amount of spousal support you can expect to give or receive in FL by using the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer’s (AAML) standard formula. This formula is by no means a guaranteed estimate, but the calculation works the following way:
Spousal Maintenance= (30% of supporter’s gross income) – (20% of the supported party’s gross income)
The total income of the supported spouse including their gross income and support received cannot exceed 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.
The AAML’s formula calculates the duration of spousal support in Florida as well:
1) Marriage of 0-3 years X 30%
2) Marriage of 3-10 years X 50%
3) Marriage of 10-20 years X 75%
4) Marriage of 20 years or more may result in permanent support
What are the three standard types of Spousal Support in Florida?
As of 2010, the state or Florida now allows different types of maintenance. In some cases, several different kinds of spousal support are awarded at the same time, but some types are more common than others:
1) Bridge the Gap Maintenance- this type of spousal support in Florida seems as it sounds. The payments give one spouse economic relief during a transition, but this type of payment cannot last more than two years in the state of FL. “Bridge the Gap” spousal support in Florida cannot undergo modifications after the final ruling either.
2) Rehabilitative Maintenance- this type of support allows someone to attend school, improve their career skills, or enhance their professional skills. This type of support usually involves a very strict payment plan, and expenses must be used for their sole purpose.
3) Durational Alimony- this type of spousal support in Florida is the newest under the new laws passed in 2010. The payments are short term, and this kind of payment occurs when no other maintenance appears appropriate. Additionally, this kind of support can undergo modification in the net amount of payment—but not the duration.
The types of alimony listed above are influenced by a number of factors as well. A judge will listen closely to each spouse’s testimony and evidence of financial stability before he or she even considers a final settlement. Some of the most common types of determining factors for spousal support in Florida include:
• Length of marriage
• Age and mental/physical health of each spouse
• The standard of living of each spouse during the length of the marriage and after
• The income of each spouse
• Any dependent or minor children
How Can I find forms for Spousal Support around Florida?
You will have to access the judicial website of the state of Florida if you are representing yourself in your divorce case. Additionally, you will have to fill out and submit FORM 12.947(a), MOTION FOR TEMPORARY SUPPORT AND TIME¬SHARING WITH DEPENDENT OR MINOR CHILD(REN) (10/11). You will have to submit these forms to the Court Clerk, and judge may order you to submit more forms as well.