Alimony and support

AuthorAnnette J. Szorosy/Stephanie Matalon
ProfessionGeneral Magistrate/General Magistrate
Alimony and Support
Support issues are addressed by the family court judge after determination of parental responsibility and equita-
ble distribution. Alimony and child support are governed by statute and primarily based on need of the receiving
spouse and ability of the paying spouse. The statutes and case law governing alimony and child support have
extensive requirements of f‌indings of fact. The statutory factors must be addressed whether the court grants or
denies an alimony award. Type of alimony, duration of the marriage, and especially presumptions and burdens
of proof signif‌icantly affect an alimony award. After an award of alimony is determined, the family court judge
addresses child support. Child support is also governed by presumptions, especially that the child support
guidelines amount should be awarded, subject to the statutory factors for deviation and adjustment. This chapter
addresses Florida statutory and case law on these support issues and provides practical guidance to the family
lawyer in representing a spouse, alternatives for amicable resolution, and trial preparation and presentation.
A. Basic Points
§16:01 In General
§16:02 Equitable Alimony
§16:03 Effect of Time-Sharing Arrangement
§16:04 Presumptions Affecting Award
§16:05 Def‌inition and Effect of Short-Term Marriage
§16:06 Def‌inition and Effect of Moderate-Term Marriage
§16:07 Def‌inition and Effect of Long-Term Marriage
§16:08 Modif‌ication of Existing Temporary Support Order
§16:09 Alimony Reform
§16:10 Alimony Proceedings Pending Appeal
B. Types of Alimony Awards
1. In General
§16:20 Rehabilitative Alimony
§16:21 Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
§16.21.1 Durational Alimony
§16:22 Permanent Periodic Alimony
§16:23 Lump Sum Alimony
§16:24 Nominal Alimony
2. Short-Term Marriage
§16:30 Alimony in Short-Term Marriage
§16:31 Bridge-the-Gap or Rehabilitative Alimony
§16:31.1 Durational Alimony
Florida Family Law and Practice 16-2
§16:32 Permanent Periodic Alimony
3. Moderate-Term Marriage
§16:40 Rehabilitative Alimony
§16:41 Rehabilitative Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
§16:41.1 Durational Alimony
§16:42 Permanent Periodic Alimony
4. Long-Term Marriage
§16:50 Presumption That Alimony Should Be Awarded
§16:51 Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
§16:51.1 Rehabilitative Alimony
§16:51.2 Durational Alimony
§16:52 Permanent Periodic Alimony
§16:53 Lump Sum Alimony
C. Need-and-Ability Standard
§16:60 In General
§16:61 Excessive Amount
§16:62 Amount Not Enough
§16:63 Need Greater Than Ability to Pay
§16:64 Alimony Award Despite Substantial Assets
§16:65 Speculation and Current Circumstances
§16:66 Cohabitation
§16:67 Payor’s Non-marital Income or Assets
§16:68 Regular and Recurring Gifts; Support of Adult Children
§16:69 Stipulations as to Entitlement
§16:70 Findings Required in Judgment
D. Statutory Factors
§16:80 Standard of Living
§16:81 Duration of Marriage
§16:82 Party’s Age and Physical and Emotional Condition
§16:83 Financial Resources
§16:84 Time Necessary for Education and Training
§16:85 Contributions to Marriage
§16:85.1 Responsibilities of Minor Children in Common
§16:85.2 Tax Treatment and Consequences of Alimony
§16:86 All Sources of Income
§16:87 Equity and Justice
E. Additional Considerations
§16:100 Imputation of Income
§16:101 Effect of Validity of Marriage
§16:102 Health Insurance and Uncovered Medical Expenses
§16:103 Life Insurance and Other Security
§16:104 Periodic Payments or Lump Sum
§16:105 Retroactive to Date of Filing
§16:106 Automatic Percentage Award or Formula
§16:107 Effect of Voluntary Payments
§16:108 Effect of Bankruptcy
§16:109 Credits and Setoffs
§16:110 Automatic Increase or Reduction
§16:111 No Savings Component
§16:112 Termination Upon Life-Changing Events
§16:113 Effect of Voluntary Payments During Separation
§16:114 Children’s Expenses
§16:115 Remarriage to the Same Spouse
§16:116 Equalization of Income
16-3 Alimony and Suppor t
A. Basic Points
§16:120 In General
§16:121 Obligation of Support by Both Parents
§16:122 Accounting
§16:123 No Waiver by Parents
§16:124 Provision for Health Insurance Coverage and Noncovered Expenses
§16:125 Credits and Offsets
§16:126 National Medical Support Notice
§16:127 Paternity Disestablishment
§16:128 Impact of Social Security Payments on Child Support
§16:129 Impact of Temporary Military Service on Child Support
§16:130 Same Sex Adoption Judgment From Foreign State
§16:131 Department of Revenue Administrative Proceedings for Establishment of Child Support
§16:132 Child Support Proceedings Pending Appeal
B. Child Support Guidelines
1. In General
§16:140 Fundamental Computation
§16:141 Presumptive Level of Child Support
§16:142 Deviation From Presumptive Guidelines
§16:143 Modif‌ication of Existing Order
§16:144 Determination of Gross Income
§16:145 Exclusions and Deductions
§16:146 Computation of Net Income
§16:147 Child Care Costs
§16:148 Child’s Health Insurance and Expenses
§16:149 Use of Unequal Distribution of Assets in Unusual Circumstances
2. Imputation of Income
§16:160 In General
§16:161 Voluntary Underemployment
§16:162 Factors
§16:163 Parent Who Stays Home With a Child
§16:164 Highest Wages and Best Efforts
§16:165 Automatic Increase
§16:166 Parent in Jail
C. Statutory Adjustments to Minimum Child Suppor t Shares or Award
§16:170 Extraordinary Medical, Psychological, or Dental Expenses
§16:171 Private School Expenses
§16:172 Child’s Income
§16:173 Payor’s Support of Parent
§16:174 Seasonal Variations
§16:175 Child’s Age
§16:176 Special Needs
§16:177 Available Assets
§16:178 Income Tax Exemption for Dependents
§16:179 Grossly Excessive Amount
§16:180 Parenting Plan Adjustment
§16:181 Noninvolvement of Parent
§16:182 Other Adjustments
§16:183 Effect of Later Born Children
§16:184 Use of Nonrecurring Income
§16:185 Retroactive Child Support
§16:186 Life Insurance and Other Security

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