Divorce is difficult for everyone involved. The last thing anyone wants is to have an inaccurate or unfair alimony agreement. Our biggest priority as a premier Tampa family law firm is to make sure everyone comes out of getting a divorce in Tampa with the best agreement for everyone.
Created exclusively for LaFrance Law, the calculator for Alimony in Florida uses the most current guidelines outlined in Florida State Statutes.
An online calculator for alimony can only tell you so much information. In order to get a completely customized estimate for your alimony payments, hire a Tampa attorney to fight for what’s best for your family.
Calculating Income for Alimony in Florida
The income that you use in your calculation factors will help determine the correct amount of alimony that you may owe or receive. In order to get an accurate Florida alimony calculation, you must factor in all sources of income, including:
- Employment income
- Retirement benefits
- Dividends and interest
There is no specific formula that will get you a 100% accurate alimony calculation. For best results, hire a family attorney to help you determine the most appropriate amount.
Types of Alimony in Florida
Bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to assist a spouse with short-term needs. The length of the alimony amount cannot exceed 2 years. This is the only type of alimony that cannot be modified.
Rehabilitative alimony is intended to give financial support to a spouse until they are fully self-sufficient. Alimony will be modified as soon as there is proof the receiver is financially independent.
3. Permanent alimony
Permanent alimony is an agreement made for an indefinite amount of time. It can be modified at any time based on substantial changes in either party’s circumstances.
4. Durational Alimony
The purpose of durational alimony is to give financial support to a spouse for a finite amount of time. It can be modified based on substantial changes in either party’s circumstances.
5. Pendente lite alimony
Pendente lite alimony can be awarded prior to the final divorce judgment. This is used to ensure the dependent spouse can maintain the established lifestyle until the divorce is final. It can be used to pay your mortgage, phone services, home maintenance, etc.
For any alimony award, the payments will terminate upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the person that was receiving the alimony. The award of the permanent alimony cannot leave the payor with significantly less net income than the recipient’s net income. If there is a need to adjust your alimony award, you will have to file a petition to have it changed.
How do Florida courts Calculate Alimony Payments?
In order to calculate the correct alimony on a case-by-case basis, the court will look at the monthly income compared to the expenses of the party requesting alimony to determine if there are insufficient funds to meet their needs.
If the court finds that one party has a need for alimony and that the other party is able to pay it, then the court will determine which type and amount of alimony they will receive. There are several factors that help determine the best-suited alimony for each person, including (but not limited to):
- Standard of living established during marriage
- Duration of marriage
- Current age of each person
- Physical and emotional condition of each person
- Financial resources of each party, including nonmarital and marital assets and liabilities
- Earning capacities, education level and vocational skills of both parties
- Time necessary for either person to acquire sufficient education or training to be able to find appropriate employment if necessary
- Time spent out of the job market
- Tax consequences related to alimony
- All sources of income for each person
- The number and ages of any children
The court may order the person that is paying the alimony to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy to secure the alimony award. This will be determined after the type of alimony is decided on, and if the court finds it necessary.
How Length of Marriage Affects Florida Alimony
The number of years you are married will determine what type of alimony the court will grant you and for how long. The length of marriage is calculated from the date your marriage was made legal to when the filing of divorce papers was approved. These lengths are all determined by the state of Florida.
Short-term marriage is a marriage that lasted less than 7 years. They are eligible for durational, bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony. The court would have to make written findings of exceptional circumstances, such as the ones listed above, to be granted permanent alimony.
Moderate-term is a marriage that lasted between 7 and 17 years. These marriages are awarded the same options as a short-term marriage. Permanent alimony may be considered if there is convincing evidence of the need for it.
Long-term marriage is a marriage that lasted longer than 17 years. All types of alimony may be available, after the court has considered all of the alimony factors.
Alimony and Florida Taxes
In 2018, it was established that alimony is not tax-deductible to the spouse that makes alimony payments; they are responsible for the income taxes. The spouse receiving the payments will not have to pay taxes on the alimony received.
Parties are not allowed to file joint tax returns for the year they are claiming the alimony to be tax-deductible, and the parties must reside at separate addresses.
Child Support Payments with Alimony
A high alimony payment may reduce the amount of child support needed, but it will be based on several different factors determined by the court. It is important that the start and end dates for paying alimony do not associate with any payments for the children. The IRS may consider these payments as child support instead. Either spouse can apply for child support before or after requesting alimony from the same person, as long as the court is aware of both transactions.
Can you Modify your Alimony in Florida?
Yes! There are several circumstances that will allow you to petition for alimony modification in Florida:
- Substantial, permanent change in one spouse’s income
- Loss of a child
Determining whether an instance qualifies you for modification of alimony is a nuanced process, and we highly recommend contacting a Tampa divorce attorney to help you out.
Contact us now to hire a dedicated team of Tampa lawyers who will fight for what you deserve.