The court may grant alimony to either spouse. Generally, an award of alimony will be based on the requesting spouse’s need for financial support and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. Although adultery does not prohibit an award of alimony, the court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances of that adultery in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded.
When awarding alimony, courts consider all relevant factors, including:
the standard of living established during the marriage
the length of the marriage
the age and physical and emotional condition of both spouses
both spouses’ financial resources, including the marital and non-marital assets and debts distributed to each spouse as part of the divorce
the time necessary for one spouse to obtain educational training, which would allow that spouse to find appropriate employment
the services rendered by one spouse during the marriage in homemaking, child rearing, and supporting the other spouse's education and career advancement, and
any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses.
The court may grant the following types of alimony:
Bridge-the-gap alimony. This is meant to assist the supported spouse in transitioning from being married to being single and to cover short-term needs. This award may not exceed two years.
Rehabilitative alimony. This may be awarded to assist a party in becoming self-supporting by allowing that party to redevelop work skills or credentials, or to obtain new education or training necessary to find a job.
Durational alimony. Typically, durational alimony is awarded in order to provide a party with financial assistance for a set period of time following a short-term marriage (less than seven years) or moderate-term marriage (more than seven but less than 17 years).
Permanent alimony. This is typically reserved for marriages of a long duration (17 years or greater). The purpose is to provide for the financial needs of the supported party so he or she may continue to meet the standard of living that was established during the marriage.
Combination of all of the above. In some cases, a court may award some combination of the above. For example, a spouse may receive bridge-the-gap alimony during the divorce and until the court orders a permanent support order.
The court may order periodic payments of alimony or a lump-sum (one-time) payment. For a complete description of the various types of alimony in Florida, see Fla. Stat. Ann. § 61.08