Does The Length Of A Marriage Affect Alimony?
Many factors go into determining alimony. Some of these factors include:
- Each spouse’s net income.
- Each spouse’s domestic responsibilities.
- Each spouse’s health.
- Each spouse’s education.
- Each spouse’s earning capacity.
- The lifestyle each spouse enjoyed during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
One of all of these factors, the length of the marriage, and the implications of this length, is both one of the most important and one of the most unclear.
What Are The 3 Different Marriage Lengths?
Within the state of Florida, there are three different marriage lengths. These three different marriage lengths are as follows:
- Short-Term Marriage – 7-Years Or Less
- Moderate-Term Marriage – 7-Years To A Maximum Of 17-Years
- Long-Term Marriage – 17-Years Or Longer
Each one of these marriage lengths affects whether or not alimony is awarded and, if it is, what type of alimony is awarded.
What Happens When A Short-Term Marriage Ends?
When a short-term marriage ends, assets and property must be divided. But, unlike other marriage lengths, this process is often quite easy, as fewer assets and property are commingled.
The same is true of determining alimony. Many of those in short-term marriages are capable of working and can financially support themselves. For this reason, it’s common for alimony to not be awarded to either spouse.
What Happens When A Moderate-Term Marriage Ends?
A moderate-term marriage often comes with assets that have either been acquired and commingled. Given the presence of these assets, determining alimony is more complex than the divorce proceedings that occur when a short-term marriage ends.
To assess whether or not alimony will be granted, the court considers:
- The financial situation of each spouse.
- The employment situation of each spouse.
- The employability of each spouse.
Many moderate-term marriages culminate with alimony being paid to one spouse. But, the form this alimony takes is dependent on the exact factors at play.
A spouse who hasn’t worked, or has few assets, may be awarded bridge-the-gap alimony. By being awarded this form of alimony, they will receive monthly alimony payments for a period that is no more than two-years.
On the other hand, that spouse may be awarded rehabilitative alimony. This way, they have the time and money they need to gain the necessary skills and find employment.
Other forms of alimony can be awarded. But, when it comes to moderate-term marriages, these tend to be the most common.
What Happens When A Long-Term Marriage Ends?
Since a long-term marriage lasts for such a lengthy period of time, finances and assets are guaranteed to be commingled. This almost always guarantees that one spouse will receive alimony. But, the form this alimony takes varies with each marriage.
Many long-term marriages end with one spouse being awarded durational alimony. By being awarded durational alimony, that spouse receives the money they need to enjoy the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to for a specific duration.
Some long-term marriages end with one spouse being awarded permanent alimony. Permanent alimony ends when the recipient passes away or remarries. For spouses who can no longer financially support themselves, due to their long-term marriage, permanent alimony is common.
Speak With A Tampa Alimony Attorney
The length of your marriage can, and will, affect alimony. Speak with a Tampa alimony attorney today and we will assist you in achieving the ideal alimony outcome.