Alimony Lawyers In Longwood, FL

Often, when a party has worked throughout their marriage or was not the primary financial provider for the family, it is not unusual for the party to request alimony, also referred to as “spousal support,” in their initial Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Pursuant to Florida Statue § 61.08(2), “In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance.” Thus, it is up to the court’s discretion to determine if the requesting party is entitled to alimony.

Alimony in a Florida d­­­­ivorce is within the discretion of the court and is based on multiple factors. Alimony is a highly contested area of family law and is just another reason why an experienced family law attorney is crucial for you to receive the most favorable and fair outcome in this area. There is no exact mathematical formula to determine whether you are entitled to receive alimony, how much you should receive from your spouse, and for how long. The court determines these factors based on the evidence presented in trial, negotiated between the parties, or through a mediator.

Various types of alimony exist in Florida. Alimony is based on the need of the party receiving the spousal support and the other party’s ability to pay. These types of alimony include lump sum, durational, temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent support. The forms are broken down further below; however, our family lawyers at Vazquez & Stockmar, PLLC are here to help you understand all the different types of support you may be entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys!

Factors Considered By The Court

If a court determines a need and ability to pay, it then considers the statutory factors in determining the type of alimony that best suits your circumstances. These factors include the length of the marriage, the standard of living, age of parties, resources of the parties, earning capacity, and other factors necessary to determine equity. Please note the Florida courts have recognized various lengths of marriage that may impact the alimony you are eligible to receive, if at all. They include short-term marriages, moderate marriages, and long-term marriages. Regarding Short Term Marriages, the state of Florida recognizes a short-term marriage as one that lasts less than seven years. A Moderate Marriage is a marriage lasting between 7–­­­1­­­7 years, and a marriage lasting longer than 17 years is recognized as a Long-Term marriage.

As many factors determine entitlement to alimony, a party must be prepared with an alimony attorney experienced in financial matters and negotiating alimony settlements.

As mentioned previously, the court considers various factors to determine if alimony is appropriate to grant in a Dissolution of Marriage. Thus, just because a party has been married to their spouse for 10 years does not automatically mean you are entitled to permanent alimony. The court determines the following factors regarding the evidence at trial.

  1. Entitlement To Alimony: Does a spouse need alimony, and does the other party have the ability to pay?  
  2.  Amount Of Alimony: What is the appropriate amount of Alimony to be paid.
  3. Type Of Alimony: Types of Alimony include Durational, Bridge the Gap, Lump Sum, Durational and Nominal.
  4. Duration Of Alimony:How long the Alimony will be paid. The amount of Alimony is usually modifiable. The duration of payment is rarely modifiable, except under exceptional circumstances.

Types Of Alimony In Florida

Florida Courts have the discretion to award different types of alimony based on the

facts and circumstances of the parties. Types of Alimony include Bridge the Gap Alimony, Rehabilitative Alimony, Durational Alimony, and Permanent Alimony. The various forms of alimony are broken down further below.

  1. Bridge the Gap Alimony: Courts award Bridge the Gap Alimony to assist a party in transitioning from being married to being single. Bridge the Gap Alimony is for specific identifiable needs, lasts for two years or less, and terminates on the payer’s death or the payee’s remarriage.
  2. Rehabilitative Alimony: – Rehabilitative alimony is designed to help the receiving spouse acquire or re-acquire skills to enable the receiving spouse to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative alimony follows a specific plan and can be modified upon showing a substantial change of circumstances.
  3. Durational Alimony: – Durational alimony is for a specific period of time, rather than being permanent for the remainder of the receiving spouse’s life. Usually, it is awarded in short or moderate-term marriages or long-term marriages when there is no permanent need for alimony. Durational Alimony terminates upon the death of the payor or remarriage of the payee. Ordinarily, the period of time set for the receiving spouse to collect durational alimony is not modifiable, although the amount can be modified.
  4. Permanent Alimony: – Permanent alimony is awarded to one party to maintain a standard of living enjoyed during the marriage when the party does not have the financial ability to meet those needs. Courts must make specific findings of why an award of Permanent Alimony is appropriate. Permanent Alimony, when awarded, is usually in a long-term marriage. Permanent Alimony will only be awarded in Moderate Length marriages upon finding clear and convincing evidence that such an award is appropriate. In short-term marriages, permanent alimony is only awarded upon a written finding of exceptional circumstances.

Equitable Distribution & Alimony

Our family law attorneys at Vazquez & Stockmar, PLLC like to find creative solutions for our clients, whether they are entitled to alimony or ordered by the court to pay alimony. We have been able to negotiate amicable solutions between parties with respect to the payout of alimony. For instance, it is common in a Dissolution of Marriage action, as part of equal distribution, the party entitled to alimony chose to accept a one lump payment for alimony from their spouse, instead of a monthly payment. These negotiation tactics help make the settlement process smoother for the parties.

Changes To Alimony Law

Alimony orders or agreements entered into after January 1, 2019, have recently changed, so alimony will no longer be deductible to the payor and not be included as income to the payee.

There have been repeated attempts to modify Florida’s alimony laws over the last few years, including 2019. Each of these attempts contained limitations on a court’s ability to award permanent alimony. While these changes have not become law, alimony reform continues to be an ongoing topic in the Florida Legislature. It is important to find an alimony attorney who keeps up to date with the changing alimony laws and their effects on your case.

Statutory Factors For Determining Alimony – Florida Statute 61.08


  1.     In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature or any combination of these forms of alimony. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in a lump sum or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. In all dissolution actions, the court shall include findings of fact relative to the factors enumerated in subsection (2) supporting an award or denial of alimony.
  2.     In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance in Florida divorce, the Court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8), the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to the following.
  •     The standard of living established during the marriage.
  •     The duration of the marriage.
  •     The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  •     The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  •     The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
  •       The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other party.
  •     The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
  •     The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
  •       All sources of income available to either party, including income available through investments of any asset held by that party.
  •       Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

If you or someone you know, have more specific questions regarding alimony or information shared on this page, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Vazquez & Stockmar, PLLC for a free consultation.

Vazquez & Stockmar, PLLC is a law firm serving Central Florida. Our attorneys offer dependable services in several legal disciplines, including probate, estate planning, and family law. Get in touch with us today to request a free consultation!