Alimony in Florida is a very confusing concept because it is difficult to calculate with any real accuracy because it is entirely situational. In Florida, it is called “maintenance” and is that legal mechanism by which the spouse who has more resources helps to support the former spouse until such time as the individual’s situation changes and they are able to fully support themselves. For many people maintenance is critical because, for example, they may have put aside aspects or growth in their career to care for children and are entering the workforce with little experience.

Under Florida law, maintenance (alimony) is awarded to provide a soft landing from which to start over. Alimony can be paid monthly or in a lump sum. It can be for a duration or even permanent. Maintenance can be rehabilitative, even, where one party helps the other to finish school or get a trade. The courts make decisions on alimony based on the financial situation of both parties, the reasons for divorce, the number of years the couple was married, and if there are children involved.

Determining alimony really requires discussion with an attorney. A Sarasota divorce lawyer will be able to listen to the particulars of your case and compare that to other cases they have seen. This gives people a better idea of what to expect (or not expect) when seeking maintenance. In general, the Florida courts try to be fair and if you have a good divorce lawyer it is possible to get a fair and reasonable maintenance settlement or monthly payment.