Many people’s standard of living worsens after a divorce. A divorce, especially for older couples where one spouse does not have the earning potential of the other, can be financially devastating. If you’re preparing for a divorce, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the factors that go into a judge’s determination and could influence how any alimony is evaluated and distributed.
Understanding the variables in a judge’s decision
A family law judge typically decides how alimony is determined. At the moment, there are four types of alimony (or spousal maintenance), though recent legislation could potentially end permanent alimony in Florida. The judge weighs such considerations as the lifestyle of each spouse, their typical expenses, and accustomed amenities, as well as their more basic needs of food, clothing, and housing. Here are some additional factors that could influence a judge’s decision:
- The duration of the marriage
- The ages of each spouse
- Employment opportunities/earning potential
- Income dependency
- Child custody
- Standard of living
Fighting for what you’re entitled to
Much of a judge’s ruling involves determining what conditions marked the standard of living during the marriage and how that standard can be maintained for the dependent spouse. Even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state, a judge may factor the reasons for a marriage’s dissolution in determining alimony. If you’re thinking about a divorce, contact an attorney with deep experience in family law and divorce cases.