What is Alimony?
Alimony is a form of spousal support that is intended to provide financial support to a spouse to ensure an adequate standard of living after the marriage.
What are the Guidelines for the Court in Determining an Award of Alimony?
Florida Statute 61.08 creates the factors which a court should consider in determining an award of alimony:
a. The standard of living established during the marriage.
b. The duration of the marriage.
c. The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
d. The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
e. When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
f. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
g. All sources of income available to either party.
The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
What is Rehabilitative Alimony?
The principal purpose of awarding rehabilitative alimony is to provide funds to the requesting spouse so he or she can establish the capacity for self-support, either through the redevelopment of previous skills or the provision of the training necessary to develop potential supportive skills. Hill v. Hooten, 776 So. 2d 1004, 1006 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001). Rehabilitative alimony, however, cannot be awarded absent a rehabilitative plan. Id. (citing Fullerton v. Fullerton, 709 So. 2d 162, 164 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998)). The spouse seeking the award must present evidence establishing the objective of the rehabilitation, the areas in which rehabilitation is desired, and the amount of rehabilitative alimony necessary. Rowl v. Rowl, 864 So. 2d 1236, 1239 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) (citing Kalmanson v. Kalmanson, 796 So. 2d 1249, 1250 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001)). Although the plan does not have to be in writing, an adequate and credible rehabilitative plan must be presented to the court. Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295, 299 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003). In addition, the record must contain evidence of the need of the requesting spouse for such alimony, and a determination by the court that the other spouse has the ability to pay the amount awarded. Id. Finally, the trial court must make explicit the basis for the amount and duration of the award. Saporito v. Saporito, 831 So.2d 697, 701 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002). See generally Lovell v. Lovell, 5th DCA 2009.