How Alimony is Determined or Calculated in Florida


The most important factor for alimony is how long you were married.  As the length of the marriage increases, alimony is more likely.  But all of the other factors must also support an alimony judgment.  The time is counted from your marriage date until the date of the divorce petition.

   probability you will pay or receive alimony – by number of years married

4 years

7 years
10 years
12 years
17 years

not likely

slightly possible

very possible


almost definite

Alimony is a frequent feature of Florida divorces. Alimony – sometimes referred to as spousal support – is a payment of money from one spouse meant to provide financial support to the other spouse during the pendency of a divorce proceeding or for some period of time after a divorce is finalized. The purpose behind alimony is to allow the lower-earning spouse in a divorcing couple to maintain a standard of living that he or she was accustomed to during the marriage, at least for a period of time.


Unlike child support orders, which are calculated based on instructions found in the Florida statutes and which do not allow for the court to exercise much discretion in setting them, courts have some latitude in setting an alimony order. Understanding the types and purposes of alimony, as well as the factors a court considers when deciding whether to award alimony and in what amount, can help you anticipate whether alimony will be a factor in your case.


Purpose of Alimony


As mentioned above, the underlying purpose of alimony is to allow divorcing spouses to maintain a standard of living that is similar to the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage, at least until the spouses have an opportunity to reestablish themselves. Alimony is not meant to punish one spouse or reward the other, nor is it meant to enrich one spouse at the expense of the other. For this reason, except in extremely rare circumstances, courts will not enter an alimony award for an amount that causes the receiving spouse to have total income greater than the paying spouse. For instance, if Louis makes $3,000.00 per month and Anna makes only $2,000.00, it is unlikely that Louis will be ordered to pay significantly more than $500.00 per month in alimony.


Types of Alimony Available


Florida law enables the court to award different types of alimony. The decision of what type of alimony to award, if any, rests in the discretion of the court and what it believes to be fair under the circumstances. A court is not limited to awarding just one type of alimony; if it feels it is appropriate, it may award more than one type of alimony.

The different types of alimony available include:


  • Temporary Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded in cases where one spouse requires financial support while the divorce is pending. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony automatically ends. For instance, if Louis and Anna are divorcing, and Anna needs assistance relocating away from Louis, she may ask the court to provide her with temporary alimony to assist her in starting over in a new location.
  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: Bridge-the-gap alimony is temporary in nature and is meant to last no more than two years. This sort of alimony begins once the divorce is finalized and provides one spouse with temporary living expenses to meet his or her short-term needs. Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded, for instance, where one spouse needs to complete a job training class or is waiting for a house to sell before moving. This type of alimony is not modifiable once it has been entered.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony allows a spouse to acquire training or education necessary to obtain employment following a divorce. Before a court will award rehabilitative alimony, the spouse requesting this type of alimony must submit a plan that outlines the money and time necessary to complete the plan.
  • Durational Alimony: If one spouse requires ongoing assistance in meeting his or her living expenses for a number of years, the court may consider awarding durational alimony. Durational alimony can be awarded for a period of time, up to the length of the marriage. For instance, if Louis and Anna were married for five years, the court could award a party up to five years of durational alimony. If they were married for fifteen years, the durational alimony could be awarded for up to fifteen years.
  • Permanent Alimony: Like its name implies, permanent alimony is support that is awarded after a divorce and that is designed to last until it is either modified or terminated by the court. Otherwise, the alimony order will remain and the obligor spouse will need to continue to pay it. This type of alimony is designed to assist one spouse with his or her living expenses when it does not appear that that spouse’s financial situation is not likely to improve. For instance, permanent alimony might be appropriate if Anna has a permanent disability and is unable to work. Because of the unique nature of permanent alimony, a court that awards permanent alimony must state in writing the reasons why it felt awarding permanent alimony was fair and reasonable, as opposed to awarding other forms of alimony.


There are certain presumptions regarding the length of the marriage and the eligibility for permanent alimony. If the marriage lasted at least 17 years, permanent alimony can be awarded if it is appropriate in light of certain factors (discussed below). For a marriage between 7 and 17 years, permanent alimony can be awarded if there is clear and convincing evidence that such an award is appropriate. For a marriage of less than 7 years, permanent alimony will be awarded only in exceptional circumstances.


Factors Affecting Alimony Awards


Before a court can award any type of alimony, a court must not only determine that there is a need for alimony, but also that the spouse from whom alimony is sought has an ability to pay the proposed alimony. If the court does not find the receiving spouse has a need for alimony, then the court will not likely award alimony even if the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony. Similarly, if the court finds that the paying spouse is not able to pay an alimony award, then no alimony award will be entered even if the other spouse could use financial support.


Once the court has determined that there is both a need for alimony and the paying spouse has the ability to pay alimony, the court will then consider “relevant factors” in deciding what type of alimony to award and how long to award such alimony. These factors may include:


  • Financial Resources of Receiving Spouse: The court may consider the financial situation and resources of the spouse asking for alimony. This would include not only the requesting spouse’s income, but any separate property he or she has (property he or she acquired before the marriage, for instance) and any property he or she is awarded by the court during the division of the marital property.
  • Receiving Spouse’s Income Sources: All sources of income for the receiving spouse will be considered, including wages, salaries, and investment income, for example.
  • Each Spouse’s Earning Capacity, Educational History, Vocational Skills, and Employability: For instance, if one spouse did not advance in his or her career or did not go to college in order to stay home and raise the children, this will be taken into consideration in determining whether that spouse has a need for alimony.
  • Any Time and Expense Required by the Requesting Spouse for Education or Training: If one spouse proposes to get education or training in order to obtain a job to provide for him- or herself, he or she will need to detail how much money and time such an endeavor would take.
  • The Marital Standard of Living: Since alimony is meant to ensure each of the spouses enjoy a standard of living that is comparable to the standard of living they enjoyed as a couple, it makes senses that a court will investigate what that marital standard of living was before ordering any alimony.
  • The Length of the Marriage: This is an important consideration because durational alimony cannot be ordered for a period of time that is longer than the length of the marriage.
  • The Age and Physical and Emotional Condition of the Spouses: If a spouse has physical or emotional needs that require treatment, the court can consider these expenses in determining whether alimony is appropriate.
  • Each Spouse’s Contribution to the Marriage: In determining what is fair and reasonable, the court will not only consider the income each spouse brought to the marriage but also activities such as child rearing, home education, and homemaking.
  • Tax Consequences: A court can consider how a particular award will be treated by federal and state governments for taxation purposes in determining whether to award any alimony and in what amount.
  •  Child Support Responsibilities: In determining the need for alimony, a court can consider what obligations, if any, each spouse has toward any children they have in common.
  • Adultery: A court can consider the nature of any adulterous relationship involving either spouse in awarding and setting alimony. Courts will be most interested in such a relationship if it harmed the other spouse financially, such as when one spouse uses marital funds or assets to give his or her partner lavish gifts.
  • Supportive Relationships: If the receiving spouse remarries or enters into a “supportive relationship,” an alimony award may be denied, reduced, or terminated. A “supportive relationship” is one in which two unrelated individuals live together and support one another financially or otherwise. For example, if Louis and Anna divorce and Anna moves in with her new boyfriend (who helps contribute to Anna’s rent and utilities), the court may consider this support she receives in determining whether alimony is appropriate and, if so, in what amount.


Tax Consequences of Alimony


Generally speaking, the tax consequences of alimony depends on whether the support is paid periodically (i.e., monthly payments) or in one lump-sum payment. Alimony paid on a periodic basis is usually counted as taxable income to the receiving spouse and is tax deductible for the obligor spouse. Conversely, lump-sum alimony payments (which, as the name implies, are made in a single payment) are typically viewed as distributions of property and are typically not tax deductible by the obligor spouse nor are they treated as income to the receiving spouse.


Alimony and Child Support


If the court feels it is appropriate, it may order one spouse to pay alimony as well as child support. Although each form of support is typically paid directly to the other spouse, the two forms of support are meant to address different needs. Child support is designed to address the costs of raising a child (such as food and clothing), while alimony is designed to allow the receiving spouse to enjoy a standard of living similar to the marital standard of living he or she enjoyed during the marriage.


In the case of both child support and alimony, other support orders may impact the amount the court enters. For instance, in the case of a child support order, the statute allows for consideration of alimony ordered by the court. Similarly, in the case of alimony, the court is permitted to consider any child support ordered by the court in determining what amount is fair and reasonable.


Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney


You can benefit from the assistance of our experienced alimony attorneys whether you are seeking alimony or whether your ex-spouse has requested that you pay alimony. If you are in need of alimony, an we can review the facts of your case and discuss with you how best to present your situation to the court. Especially if you are asking for rehabilitative alimony, our legal team can assist you in preparing the proper documents to present your request to the court. Our consultations are free and we look forward to fighting for your rights.


If your ex-spouse has asked the court to order you to pay alimony, it is important to discuss the case with an attorney as well. An attorney can assist you in presenting the facts of your situation as well as gathering evidence about your ex-spouse’s situation. Since alimony is based both on need and ability to pay, your attorney can ensure that the court considers facts related to both of these factors.

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Thank you Jeana for helping bring my Boy Home :) I could not begin to thank you enough. We look forward to better days for sure, thanks to you and all of your help. Thank you for being so fair and for working with our Family through these tough times. God Bless you!!

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  • ronguy2013

    I heard there is a new law that says I will not have to pay alimony. I have been in a case for the last three months. Will the new law apply to me?

    • HowardIken

      The new alimony law has not been enacted at this time. If it is passed and signed off by the Governor then it will apply to all relevant alimony cases. At this time the law is retroactive (meaning it would apply to previous divorce cases as well as future ones). If your case has not finalized by the time the law (if it is approved) takes effect then it may apply to your case. I use the term “may” instead of “will/shall” because each case is different and unique.

  • donna

    I am in the process of going through a divorce, I have been married 24 years and have an 18 year old. I know that I am not entitled to child support but am entitled to alimony right?

    • HowardIken

      Correct on child support. And yes – in a 24 year marriage, alimony will almost always be an issue. You should read some of our blog posts about the new alimony law that is about to be signed into law. BTW – our first consults are free.

  • tniteowl323

    I was divorced on August 15, 2011. I was married for 22 years. I am receiving alimony now…$2500 a month for 5 years. I did not have a lawyer, drew it up myself and filed it with the court. My ex husband is a self employed business owner. I have been hearing a lot about permanent alimony for people who were married for a long time. I am now wondering if I should have gone for permanent alimony and if it is now too late to even consider this. Thank you for your help.


    • HowardIken

      It depends on the language of your final judgment. Sometimes there is a possibility of “expanding” the type of alimony the last final judgement granted to you.

  • GRIF 1960

    i,ve been divorced all most 5 years now. my wife at the time was living with a man making over 100 k and she was working full time for pasco schools as a sub every day. I was and still on total disability after driving a truck for 26 years. married 26 years and two groun kids. my lawyer felt that i should pay her 1000.00 a month because of alimony laws in fla. and long term marriage . we settled out of court with advice from my lawyer. IT,S been 5 years now at a 1000.00 month and she still lives with the same man making 100k plus and she,s working in sumter county now as a sub teacher making 15-20 k a year plus my 12k that i give her . Iam still on total disability granted by a fla. disability judge.i need some help her . IS THIS FARE ? SHE,S 53 YEARS OLD WITH 15YRS. TO WORK FOR HER SELF.

    • HowardIken

      That exact situation was the target of the new proposed alimony law. But the law did not pass this year. It sounds to me like you may have a reason to file a modification under the cohabitation statute – also known as the supportive relationship statute. Just because you received bad advice 5 years ago does not mean you can’t try to correct it now.

  • DianeC

    I have been married 23 years in September. My spouse makes about 157K a year. I have been a stay at home mom about 21 years. My kids are 13, 15, 17, and 21. We purchased a home about a year ago. He tells me it is “his” money. We are both on the mortgage. Both signatures on at least one of the car loans. Can I force him to sell if we divorce? My goal is to have the children living with me, but I don’t see how I could afford the mortgage payment. It seems more fair if we each get our own place. My husband signed for a Parent plus loan for my son to go to college but I do not believe that I signed for that since I didn’t agree with the decision( unless he signed my name without my knowledge). Am I responsible for that ?

    • HowardIken

      Unless you put a large down payment on the home it would be difficult to imagine there is equity. But lets just say there is enough equity to get cash from the house. In a 23 year marriage where you have not worked for 21 years – it is unlikely that it is “his money.” And if a large portion of the marital money is locked up in the home a court would probably order the home sold. You certainly have a strong alimony case. On the loan – there is no absolute answer. Of course if you were my client my position would be that he is responsible for the loan :-)

  • Ivy

    I need some guidance regarding a particular circumstance. My fiancee has been paying alimony for 5 years now. The divorce decree states that the term of the alimony is for 10 years and is UNMODiFIABLE. We have been contemplating taking this back to court, but many have informed me that because it was deemed UNMODIFIABLE no changes can or will be made. In total he pays 1000.00 a month for 5 years is 60,000.00. We want to move on, get married, purchase a home and we cannot because this individual does not and has not obtained a job since the divorce. Its a Rehabilitative Alimony which means it is supposed to help her go back to school, or gain employment. She has done nothing of the sort. With that said, do we stand a chance in court? Please advise, any information is greatly appreciated and useful.
    Desperate Newife!!!

    • HowardIken

      A 10 year alimony agreement for Rehabilitative is a bit questionable from the start. But in general an Unmodifiable agreement is just that: not modifiable. There are advantages to agreeing to that term but it is a dual edged sword.

      • Ivy

        Mr. howard,
        If she is cohabitating with someone???
        Would we have a chance then?

        • HowardIken

          I believe the “unmodifiable” term would trump everything else.

  • DIYer

    Would love your advice. I have been married 15 years……my wife has not worked for the last 11……i have 2 boys…..8 and 11. She is very, very capable of working……she worked for 13 years for Bank of America before kids…..she is 41……in perfect health. Trying to come to an agreement before mediation so I don’t have to pay for someone to “Help” us agree at $200 an hour plus $250 an hour for my lawyer…..or leave it up to a judge. The problem is there are so many factors I don’t know what how much is fair and for how long. Would love to know what would be reasonable for alimony and child support…….

    Net take home pay every 2 weeks $1650…..currently giving her 1/2 which is enough to cover the bills
    The children are covered under my health insurance
    I am currently getting 43% of the overnights
    The house she is living in is paid for ($270k value)
    She has some college

    • HowardIken

      I am sorry. This is not what you want to hear. But what you are asking for is a bit too detailed. The answer I give will affect the rest of everyone’s lives. That has a lot of liability. So naturally I like to know a lot more. I also tend to do that sort of thing for clients. A possible suggestion is for the two of you to see a financial advisor – who can make some common sense suggestions.

  • Carter30

    I have been married for about 15 years and me and my former spouse were living separately for about 5 to 6 years do to my job, but my wife did not relocate with me and chose to stay in the other city, she came to visit me a few times and then went back to her home. We do not have kids together and no assets. The only thing I have is my income and the 401K. My former spouse did not work almost the whole time when we were married and at this time she is sick and is not able to work. We are getting a divorce and are still living in other Cities. Would I have to pay alimony and split my 401K because at that point she chose not to work and was not a stay at home parent either. Please get back to me with your advice, it is much appreciated. Thank you.

    • HowardIken

      You have a complex alimony issue because you have been separated so long. One important bit of info would be whether she was self supporting during the past 6 years. The 401K would be split but the value cutoff would probably be 6 years prior.

  • hstgo

    I was with my ex well married 1 year will she get alimony? I’m new to this and confused… We didn’t have anything together we have two kids that stay 3-4 overnights out of the week. And I work and sheworks. How does this work?

    • HowardIken

      In a 1 year marriage alimony would be extremely rare. Sounds like you are practicing “rotating custody.” That seems to be the current trend and would be approved by a judge if you two sign a settlement agreement.

  • Guest


    Flag as inappropriate

    I am in the process of going through a divorce, I have been married for 40 years. I am 60 only work part time was a stay at home mom. My husband has only SS coming in as income can I get alimony

    • HowardIken

      Yes, absolutely. Alimony can be based on SS income. But the final number will depend on a lot of issues such as total available income, expenses, age, health, etc. But in a 40 year marriage where you stayed at home, alimony is an unavoidable issue.

  • lori

    My Exhusband has not paid his alimony to me for 5 years. my alimony is $3,450 per month. He owes me @ $225,000. About 8 months ago-he began sending me $200 a month. What is available legally for me to use to force my Exhusband to comply with his court ordered alimony? I only have social security/disability income-$1,000 a month. I am literally starving and cannot afford my needed medications. Please advise. Thank You, Lori

    • HowardIken

      You would need a Motion for Contempt and an enforcement hearing. The outcome depends on his ability to pay and the existence of available assets. But alimony is definitely enforceable. If you are in our area, you can come in for free to discuss.

  • Confused

    Wy wife and I were married for 12 1/2 years. We only lived together for 1-2 years after being married. She lived independently up until 3 years ago. I put her and my daughter in an apartment and paid all expenses. She now filed for divorce and wants alimony. She can’t work due to c car accident and being disabled. I even just bought her and my daughter a new home 6 months ago and pay all expenses. What am I responsible for?

    • HowardIken

      You have a really complex situation. Normally her alimony claim would be strong. But all that time living apart may change things. Sorry – there is no cut and dried answer. At this point you need to come in for a free, private consult.

  • airdale59

    Divorced in 2011,Currently paying permanent periodic alimony ($1100.00 per mth) and child support ($205.00per mth). Ex wife just started receiving food stamp benefits of $486.00 per month. Would that be considered a significant change in circumstances to seek a modification of alimony to lower my payments ? The alimony portion is 35% of my gross.

    • HowardIken

      Probably not. But it partially depends on the exact language of the final judgment.

  • exfence

    want to ask a question

  • exfence

    I’m going thru a divorce. I’m 50 y/o guy with a 10y/o daughter(joint custody) my wife made triple digit income while I stayed at home raising daughter. Before that I did construction work. We were married 17 years till she became emotionally abusive screaming in front of our child,throwing things,withholding sex and money,ect. so I filed. My question is do I ask for alimony? I know I’ll probally get it. But is it worth the fight? and the legal costs? Because she will fight! Some people say go for alimony but I;m thinking just get everything I want in the property settlement, avoid court costs and move on. Any advice?

    • HowardIken

      In your situation – ABSOLUTELY. You can always drop your alimony claim later. But you cannot necessarily do the opposite.

  • james

    I ‘ve been divorce since 2011. I paid all my child support in full. Children are over 18 years of age and living on there own now But Iwas ordered to pay alimony to my ex who is currently living with her boyfriend.Who she plans on marrying after the alimony is paid .They been living together since the divorce . Is there any florida law that can help me in this situation. She also going after my military pension.?

    • HowardIken

      Sounds like you should investigate a reduction based on cohabitation. In Florida we have a statute aimed at those situations – called “supportive relationships” in the statute. Not sure what the deal could be on the pension. Unless she has a right to that, it is normally a closed issue. A reading of your final judgment should give some more insight on that.

  • brokenhearted

    I have been married for just 2 months under 14 years (together for 15 years). I worked at his business as his OM for 12 years (at the time it was the best option after I lost my job by being laid off. I could make my own schedule to accommodate all 3 kids school and activity schedules…seemed like the perfect world. In addition to taking care of the children (2 of his from a previous marriage -he had custody) and our child together, I also maintained the primary homemaker role after working give or take 40/50 plus hours a week.. We lost our business and my husband moved out of state for a great job opportunity. He has been there for 11 months now. I remained instate to settle our affairs and for our middle school child to finish school (his older 2 have moved out on their own). We were to join him in the other state at the end of June. Bought 2 one way tickets in April/May for a flight out. Six days prior to leaving, I sold my vehicle (only transportation – currently borrowing my BIL vehicle for the past month) and just hours after the vehicle was sold and gone, I received a call from a female indicating that my husband had been having an affair with her for 9 of the 10 months he was out there (supposedly broke up with her 10 days earlier “in hopes of reconciling or “broken” marriage”—I was unaware our marriage was “broken” –now it was not a perfect marriage but far from broken –IMO. I was on unemployment for the last year but did not receive any job offers because I always told the potential employer that I was looking for short term work in my field due to knowing I was leaving (did not want to lie to anyone). Basically used the money that I was receiving from unemployment in addition to the money that he was receiving from his job to pay our bills together. I still have access to our joint bank accounts. I have always been the bill payer and tried to make sure that we had a small savings too. I never have taken nor “wasted” any of our money (or as recently put to me “his income”). I do not want a divorce yet I do not want to move at this point either. Just too hurt yet to “get over it and move on for the sake of our marriage”. Still love him….I know that ppl must think I am a loser for saying that I do. Currently grieving over the betrayal in my marriage. We (my child and I) are currently living in our home which will be foreclosed on any give day ( we had to surrender the house in our bankruptcy in January). Lost… not sure what is right to do. Need advise on alimony, child support, separation, divorce…or what ever else there is. Please help me.

    • HowardIken

      There is nothing wrong with trying to save your marriage. But at the same time you need to prepare for the worst. You owe that to yourself and your child. I would recommend reading and taking action according to the following article:

      You really need to get an initial, private consultation to discuss your options. We offer that for free. But at the same time … you should do some soul searching to decide the direction where you want your life to go.

  • juli

    is there any way to insure there is no lapse between getting alimony after a divorce and when the retirement money kicks in; I am living month to month on disabilty income only without alimony. thank you

    • HowardIken

      I am not totally sure how to answer this one. Alimony will begin on the date ordered. You will have to clarify a bit.

  • Going Crazy

    I have been married for 27 years and my wife is on disability. I have been the majority means of income for years. I live in Florida. My wife has gone off the deep end over our daughters upcoming marriage to the point of stabbing our kitchen counter with a butcher knife while I was standing 6 feet away. I am afraid she has lost it and I do not know if I can stay here. If I leave I will get killed with Alimony payments for the rest of my life basically dropping me down to less than 1/2 of my current take home which has gone to the household accounts for years. Is there any hope?

    • HowardIken

      You may have a difficult time coming up. But it sounds like you have more to worry about than finances. Because she has some sort of income it is unlikely you would end up with less than 1/2 of your take home. Sometimes you just have to move forward and make the best of things. It is definitely time to get a private, confidential consultation.

  • AlmostFree13

    I am gettin a divorce and I’ve been married 14 yrs and my ex hasn’t worked for the last 3 yrs will I have to pay a huge amount of alimony ? I make around $72,000 a years do you think I will be hammered with alimony ?

    • HowardIken

      Not necessarily – in a 14 year marriage the issue of permanent alimony is not as strong as you may think. Other facts surrounding your situation will be important.

  • lynne

    Married: 16 years
    Living apart:1 year
    3 children: 65% me, 35% him
    He provides health insurance

    I live in a 2 bd. 2bth condo, my cousin has lived with me the past year but is moving out soon.
    He just signed a lease on a 3/2 with his new girlfriend
    He makes: 35k full time

    The girlfriend makes:26k full time

    I make 25k part time

    i wanted to settle with him instead of fighting but he doesn’t think $600 month in child support is fair. I was willing to forgo alimony, retroactive child support, and his 401k if he would pay $600 a month and allow me to claim all 3 children, head of household, every year on my tax returns. I left him in our marital home but he chose not to pay the mortgage and trashed the place. I am now spending my time to clean it and return it to the back because I cannot afford it.

    Will the fact he has a “better” home effect how the child custody and support is figured?
    Will alimony reflect that he is sharing expenses with the new girlfriend?
    Should I include ideas of me relocating with all the children in a years time in the beginning?

    Thank you,

    I do plan on scheduling a consultation soon. You seem to know what you are doing!

    • HowardIken

      On relocation – it is best addressed up front. It does not look like there is enough difference in income for a strong alimony claim. A “better” home would probably have no effect at this point. Your numbers seem reasonable.

  • L.smith

    Married: 5 years this year
    No children, no property
    He provides all financial support, makes $50-65,000 per year
    I have only ever worked part time, making less than $10,000 per year; I am completely financially dependent on him

    No marital assets other than my car, which he will probably not try to take from me and was partially paid for by my father; car is in my father’s name and mine, not husband’s

    Credit card debt of $10-12,0000

    I’ve been told you must retain a lawyer before knowing if it’s worth seeking alimony. I cannot afford one necessarily but need to know if there’s a chance for alimony. I am only seeking maybe $500-750 per month.

    • HowardIken

      The length of your marriage is considered short term. That works against alimony. There are other factors. You may want to come in for a free consultation.

  • Dennis

    6.5 years married, just filed for divorce. My income is about $350k/yr, she is a stay at home mom with 3 young daughters. I am 43 and she is 33, she had a good paying job prior to deciding to stay home for the past 5 years but is college educated and could easily rejoin the workforce. Curious to hear your take on alimony.

    • HowardIken

      These are very limited facts. But my take … in general, anything other than short term alimony will be an uphill battle.

  • Dan

    Divorced after 20 miserable years. I agreed to pay $750 per month at the time because I was making about 60k a year and my ex was making 20k. I don’t even know where the number came up. I agreed to do it for 10 yrs. My attorney forgot to put the time limit on my divorce and I didn’t noticed it until much later. I am making less $$ now and I want my alimony reduced and a time limit set. I am making about 30k a year now. How much should I pay on alimony, my ex makes about the same but she has more benefits because she works for the government. I am self-employed. Please help….cannot find any site that can give me an idea of how much I should pay. Thanks.

  • disqus_j17cW7IY1r

    how soon will new alimony law change? ex has been cohabitation relationship and have solid proof of it to try n stop permanent alimony. help with answer.

    • HowardIken

      There already is a cohabitation statute. The failed proposed law strengthened that statute a bit.

  • father

    My daughter has been married for about 4 years and she paid most of the bills during the marriage. When she found out her spouse was cheeting on her the have now decided to divorce and when he moved out she found out that the money she was giving him was not used for bills and left with alot of debt. The question is can she recover this debt and or get alimony. Also she can not afford an attorney at this time what recourse does she have?

    • HowardIken

      A 4 year marriage is a bit short for an alimony claim. But that does not mean she is out of luck on the debt. Any debt run up during the marriage will be a joint obligation. She may want to contact legal aid, or to use an attorney for limited representation.

  • Last straw

    I was married for just short of 25yrs. & help raise & pay for stepson…My ex-husband was always changings jobs (fired), moving, & also took my savings to open & run a private business..Many times I was left to pay all the bills..At the end, he lost everything we had & placed us both in bankruptcy. All of these things occurred in Florida. Bankrupcty & for me was 2009. But he managed to get several of my 401K’s savings, inheritance, etc..To support his dying businesses…In the divorce it was discovered was written out of receiving anything from those businesses had they done well & we divorced..OK, I am now disabilied under to work for 5 yrs. & probably never can (severe back)..I recevive SSD (disability) & along with my alimony…I can barely cover my bills..I live alone in Iowa, he is still in Florida….My Medicare supp. will increase $50./mth every year until I’m 66, (currently 60..Ex-spouse 63)…I’ve had numerous back surgeries, walk with a walker, should have home help but can’t afford..My ex moved straight out of our home in to his girlfriends, got a job which he has kept since 2008 (a retail store manager)…So he is living well at her nice home in the sunshine…They take frequent trips to her homeland Puerto Rico…The alimony he is paying (was intended to partially repay me for my funds, ha-ha $51,000.00…) truth be known probably closer to $300,000. owed..Anyway, now he is frequently not paying me on time the 1st & the 15th/mth. (total is $500/mth.) .Gives me maybe 24-48hrs notice…I begged him for any money for today…I can’t buy grocerys or anything at this time because he paid me nothing…I emailed him my distraught & he ignored me….Now scary thing is “My Medicare supplement is paid directly from that account on the 15th/mth. If the funds are not there they can cancel me & I can not get it again..Because in the state of Iowa, dsiabailty persons do not qualify to have medicare supplement until retirement age…I only got it because I lived in Colorado at the time I started SSD & Medicare. So if my policy payment laps, I loss it all together (supplement)…My alimony ends mid 2016 & my income level has severely changed from what I made before divorce…I don’t know how I will live on just SSD at that time I’m in a serious financial situation…& it will never change…I think he will stop paying me all together before long…I need to garnish his wages? But I don’t have the money to do it (pay atty.) or travel to Florida to appear in court? Can’t I do this without having to go to Fla.? Would I qualify for continuation of the alimony after the end date, due too may change in health & work status? Esp. since I was married for SO long, & constantly worked.. The divorce in Lake County Fla. states the exact amount due me & the due dates for mthly. paymts. He is getting worse with being late. He threatened to not pay at all if I wanted more money than the $51000. & said he would just skip town or leave the country. He has done it before in lawsuits…I don’t know where to go to get these answers, how to do it. & I’m physically very limited in movement, also it will be snowing here soon which is worse…ANY HELP or advice would be extremely appreciated…

    • HowardIken

      Some types of limited-length alimony awards can be modified to permanent alimony. An attorney would need to read your last judgment. It is important you do that before alimony terminates. Any modification case would involve travel to court hearings. Some hearings can be done by phone – but usually not all.

  • john

    hi im john are there free alimony forms, documents for the state of new jersey. so I can calculate my alimony expenses if so what site can I go to print them out for free. or if you could email them to me i would be grateful my email is

  • Guest

    I have been married to my wife for 26 years and have been in the USA for 16 years. We both have the same qualifications
    the same job with the same corporation and the same earning potential. My wife chooses to work part time rather than full time as I do. After a equal split of our assets, we would each be left with $750k in liquid assets and $300k in non liquid assets. Both of our kids are over 18 years old. Do I have to pay her alimony? Would I have to pay her alimony if she chooses to move back to England?

    • HowardIken

      It depends on several different factors – more info is needed. But based on the amount of assets and her ability to earn money, I would say the claim for alimony is weak.

  • tampaman

    Been married for six months now but it does not seem that we are happy. I bought a house one year before we got married and it’s paid off. I am afraid my spouse will threaten me when I file for divorce. Would the court give her a piece of the property knowing that the marriage is less than a year.

    • HowardIken

      At this point, unless you made dramatic improvements – the house would probably be completely non-marital. That means it would be yours.

      • tampaman

        Thanks for the quick reply. I hope you are correct because knowing how the court, the judge..etc behave nothing is black and white. Plus laywers can twist things in favor of who they like the most.

  • Mary Roberts

    if the spouse is engaged to be married again after the divorce is final and they are living together now, will the girlfriends income count as part of his?

    • HowardIken

      That may qualify as a supportive relationship (cohabitation) and give reason to modify alimony. I assume you are talking about alimony? If child support – the answer is no.

  • Todd Spangler

    The Former wife has lived with and been supported by her parents and our now adult children for 8.5 years while never having a Full Time job and never seeking the alimony owed her. I was ordered to begin paying monthly Permanent Alimony ($534) and Child Support ($966) from a moderate term marriage, 16 yrs, 6 mos, 1wk and 3 long days. Two weeks after the divorce was entered, I was asked to leave my job I had had for 10 years. I never became close to finding the level of pay I had been receiving, Long/Short. 12 yrs education so jobs have been spotty, longest duration 3 yrs. Filed for and awarded modification in Child support but waited on the alimony cause she was finally going to school. She lives with her parents and my two now adult daughters, has become licensed as an RN and employed at a major Hospital and decided to get me with contempt; and I am now unemployed. I never paid one cent toward alimony, child support was too high and it took me almost 6 yrs to get that one modified (awarded 2012 amended back to 2008, arrears reduced). The IDO’s took 65% of my low wages so there weren’t enough hours in a day to work to be able to have the IDO’s catch up to the alimony. Can I get alimony terminated on cohabitation, some sort of statute of limitations, apparently not having the need for it so badly she doesn’t claim it or the fact we had a verbal in 2006 that she’d rather I just pay the child support? Today is the 9th, I have hearing the 12th [grits teeth] I just found y’all. BTW, Standard of Living, Ha! While married I worked 2-3 simultaneous jobs, her none which led to 2 bankruptcies, 2 repossessions and literally taking back the house from the courthouse steps. Now the house is repurchased with she and her folks on the paperwork.

    • HowardIken

      Cohabitation with parents does not count. You have an argument based on a principle called “waiver.” That is based on the fact she never enforced her rights. Of course you have a financial argument. Waiver is a complex principle. Good luck for your hearing.

      • Todd Spangler

        Thank you for the prompt reply. I will definitely be in the books this weekend.

  • TD

    My husband was ordered to pay alimony to his ex-spouse of an amount that was greater than his income. He has his paychecks garnished for over 50% of his income. It is durational alimony. The Ex-spouse has re-married, but demands she continue to receive it. We have paid everything we have to an attorney to send an uncontested order to her to sign, and she refused. She has much more money than we do and we also have three children to support. We can’t pay our bills and have lost everything we have, next will be our house and then we will be on the streets with three kids. All the legal counsel we have received so far has been about paying tons of money to fight in court what is our legal right to have dissolved. Please help or help us get in touch with someone that can give us solid advice. Our attorney has not given us any advice for the $750 we paid him and wants $2500 more to even talk to us.

    • HowardIken

      You may want a second opinion. A self-help case is possible if you cannot afford anything else. We can read everything you have from the case, and give a good, thorough second opinion for $350. There may be various alternative courses of action your current attorney has not discussed with you.

    • ABM

      Maybe you both should not had gotten married again. Ever think about that? If one marriage fails who is to know that a second one won’t. Good luck.

  • guest

    I am at my wits end. Husband walked out after 20 plus years of marriage. We have a young teen together. I can not afford an attorney because I have not worked since 1999. My vision is not so good, I have a hard time remembering short articles that I have read, let alone the dissolution of marriage package I picked up recently. I know where my husband works, but he refuses to tell me where he lives. On top of all this, he stopped paying on our home months ago, he opened several credit cards in my name (without my consent) and maxed them all out. I am facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, and the divorce, on top of dealing with the constant day to day stresses of trying to stretch my military retirement check from month to month. I am overwhelmed. Lawyers in my area want between $2500-$3500 as a retainer. I just don’t know what to do. Feeling very hopeless.

  • Rick

    I was recently disabled and collecting disability. Do I still have to pay alimony from my disability?

    • HowardIken

      Depends on the type of disability. But all that would mean is that you cannot be garnished. You would still owe the money. You should file a case for modification of alimony.

  • Ralph

    Non modifiable alimony in settlement 2004.As payor I,was late in 2011 and found in contempt. Judge approved garnishment order. 50% of net salary . I paid balance to catch up along with attorneys fees. Garnishment amount is not enough to cover monthly amount of alimony. I was late for difference for one month after in the following year and was filed against again . Now current, but plaintiff’s attorney refused to dismiss suit looking for attorney’s fee again and wants me to agree to $850,000 life insurance ,which I refuse.
    Since Judge modified settlement to include FS 61.181 is it not held to the FS 61.08 limiting its enforcement of contempt on the deficient amount? Thus denying award of attorney’s fees?

    • HowardIken

      A judge has authority to award attorney fees in any enforcement action. But the ability to add a new obligation such as life insurance is not supported by Florida law.

  • Casey

    I’m military, married to civilian for 6.5 years. No children together, she has son from previous relationship. No real property together. I make about 65k and wife makes 25-30K. She is seeking alimony, money for health insurance, and percentage of my pension. What’s the likelihood of any of that? She doesn’t want to come to an agreement in mediation. I’m not willing to give anything as I am taking over the 23K in credit card debt. Should I just let judge decide?

    • HowardIken

      You have that much money at stake and you do not have an attorney? Blindly waiting for the judge to decide is never a good idea.

  • Tonybee

    I’ve been married for 9 yrs I have a pension of 50k and I earned 50k and my wife has a pension for 22k a year and works seasonally doing taxes will I have to pay allimony

    • HowardIken

      The info you gave is way too limited for an answer

  • shop6780

    can non modifiable alimony be terminated due to cohabitation law in state of florida

    • HowardIken

      Not normally. But it is always worth it to have a reading of your final judgement and a more in-depth opinion.

  • sweetpickle

    I have been married for just over 3 years. My wife has been a stay at home stepmom and not worked during out marriage. We live in a house I purchased prior to us getting married, I am the only one on the mortgage and we are now getting a divorce. She wants to do it amicably, but says she wants what she deserves for the 3 years we have been married. I also started a company a few years before we were married with a partner and she is not tied to my company. Is she entitled to anything from my company or to any of the equity in my house? Can she force me to sell my house? Also, will she be entitled to alimony? We are both 42, I have been the primary bread winner…but she was making $60K per year prior to us getting married working in a surgical office…the surgeon retired and never looked for a job again. She has a college degree and is quite capable of working.

    • HowardIken

      Chances are the business is mostly or completely non-marital in nature (non-divisible). A claim for alimony in a 3 year marriage would tend to be very weak.

  • DSH

    Can non-modifiable alimony be terminated due to cohabitation law in state of Florida IF she gets married?

    • HowardIken

      Normally the answer is NO

  • kay

    My son and wife of 8 years 11 months are divorcing. They had an agreement that she would finish her legal assistant college and for the last 3 years she has not worked, while in college. She is asking for alimony. Since separating he has found out her student loan which he thought was around $12,000 is actually $35,000. He does not know what she did with the money. Her charge card was suppose to have a zero balance, it is $700. He has paid for all the bills. She had numerous affairs some of which she used joint funds to travel to see one particular man. What can he do to not pay this woman alimony? Thank you

    • HowardIken

      That is a huge question that could easily fill a book. He needs to come in for a consultation.

  • Happy

    I married my husband in 1996 (not in Florida) and divorced him in in 2005. We remarried in 2009 in Florida and I have been financially dependent upon him from 1996 to present. Due to illness, I have not worked much over these years. I received alimony for a couple years before believing my health would improve, my health has not improved and last time I lost my home and needed to claim bankruptcy. What can I do to improve my chances at getting alimony. My husband makes over $100,000.00 a year and we have one 16 year old child together living at home and he supported my adult son from age 4. He left me while I was receiving medical treatment and rented himself a place in our subdivision. Can I get him to pay for my health insurance premiums? Any advice you have is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • HowardIken

      A five year marriage would normally make a very weak claim for alimony. This would probably depend on when you became disabled. If it happened during the marriage that would strengthen your claim.

  • guest

    I’ve been married a Lil over 5 years, never worked during marriage, have been stay at home wife/mother. I have medical issues that make it hard for me to work though never made enough to get disability. We own nothing of value other than his car which is solely in his name. We rent our home. He has a good job with benefits. Do you think I would be a candidate for alimony?

    • HowardIken

      The “current” is against you on this one. A five year marriage is solidly in the “short-term” marriage category. The prevailing law is that a five year marriage does not normally justify alimony. Of course there are always exceptions.

  • Jen

    I was married for 18 years. Divorced 5 years now. Receive permanent monthly alimony. No children, several animals. Have had a continuation of medical problems that have caused me to lose several months of work annually due to flare ups of my condition. Annual income is no more and in fact slightly less than it was at the time of the divorce, making the alimony that much more of a necessity. My lease is ending and will not be renewed which will require me to move in just a couple short months. Finding a suitable rental for me and several animals has been extremely difficult at a price that I can currently afford. I do have the ability to live w/my dating partner (heterosexual) while I figure out my next step, however, my financial obligation will not be lessened but rather slightly increased if I do this. (Half of his rent and utility costs surpass what mine are in my current rental). For the preservation of my much needed alimony, must I continue to live in a separate residence, and is this alternate living arrangement one that would jeopardize my receipt of alimony if I were to follow through and accept the offer.

    • HowardIken

      There is a “supportive relationship” statute – more commonly known as the cohabitation statute. But it is a “steep” burden of proof for the other side. They basically must prove you are living in a relationship similar to a marriage and the relationship is significantly reducing your expenses (or need for alimony). That is not always easy to prove. You must make your own decision on risk.

  • Stacy

    STILL Married: 24 years but separated 7 of those (2007)

    TOTAL HAPPILY married-17 years
    Living apart:7 years
    1 child: 50% both but we share the house and go back n forth to him, I’m there everyday but dad sleeps there 80%, that’s SLEEPS
    He provides health insurance

    I live with my parents because he won’t give me a definite amount monthly to put into my own place, then our child will live with me 100%

    He makes: 210k full time, luxury lifestyle.

    My question is I haven’t worked in 23 years due to being a Mom and now I’ve been offered an $11.00 per hr job.

    Will this hurt my chances of alimony if I take this job?

    • HowardIken

      The job will have an affect – but not huge. The fact with more concern is the 7 year separation. That is unusual leading into an alimony claim. That would require a bit more thinking.

  • mike

    I been married for 13 yrs but only live together for about three yes I get a disability check from via for PTSD we have no kids no property she works full time. Do I have to pay alimony oh I am 65.

    • HowardIken

      Pretty bit question – without any info. There is not enough here to answer that type of question.

      • mike

        What I am trying to say is can she get alimony from my va disability check.

        • HowardIken

          Highly doubtful based on the info you gave

  • mike

    We have been married for 12 years and separated for 7 years I am totally disabled. She works and I get a disability check from va we don’t have any kids or property. If we were to divorce do I have to pay alimony from my va check.

  • Luna

    I was married for 13 Years, I get divorced but I didn’t know about alimony. I found out I was aloud to have alimony can I ask for alimony now after 7 years of divorce.

    • HowardIken

      No. Once a final judgment is entered that does not contain alimony – the issue of alimony is permanently closed.

  • Luna

    I got divorced in Florida 7 years ago and now both we are living in Idaho. I’m not working and I have 2 kids with him. Can I aloud to ask for alimony.

  • guest

    Married 8 years, I’m on social security disability for over 10 years. am i eligible for alimony. married to abusive spouse, spouse filed for divorce said he gonna kick me out of our marital home. i have nowhere to go and unable to work due to my disability. (physical & mental)

    • HowardIken

      It depends on many different factors. An 8 year marriage normally brings with it a very weak claim for alimony. The fact that you were disabled before the marriage further weakens your claim. But there may be a possibility of some sort of short term (multi-year) alimony award.

      • guest

        what type of short term alimony? Will I be kicked out of our home into the streets with Nothing, to live in my car, and the clothes and my things that can fit in suitcase? Although I contributed financially with Proof via bank statements, etc to marriage?

        • HowardIken

          There are several types of short term alimony such as Durational and Rehabilitative.

  • matt

    lived in my home for two months before getting married. half an hour after marrying we were in a auto accident. We agreed to divorce while still in the hospital. After discharge we did not again live together and do not to this day. I am on SSD as is she. The difference is I live on my own with bills and a child, and she lives with her father (as she did before we met) with no minor child in her care. While we were together she attempted to utilize her college degrees (2 associates) to work at a insurance agency along side her father. She filed in June of 2013 (6 months later) Does she qualify?

  • William Guy

    I am 56 she is 58 and she has never really worked. We have been married right at the 8 year mark. She is asking for alimony, no children or assets. We have been separated for 6 years, what are the chances of her getting alimony, she is able to work.

    • HowardIken

      Slim to none chance of alimony under the facts you provided.

  • DSH

    Is there a major change to alimony laws that has been put into place? Does this affect previous agreements?

  • Gina Townsend

    Please help, I am 44, spouse 45, we have twins going on 10, and a 18 year old, unable to care for herself , she doesn’t drive, lives at home and has social aniexty, she can’t even talk to people on the phone, but she is not disabled. I have been married 19 years, the only time I ever had a job was in 1995-1998, and was fired for no high school diploma. I then found out I have TBI and can’t remember anything as well as a bad injury to my back and COPD, I have a lifetime disability parking pass, but was denied disability years ago, and to weak to appeal, plus my spouse always made great income allowing me to get breast augmentation,tummy tuck, vacations, ect, he wanted me to be a housewife. Now though out the marriage he was very verbally and physically abusive, then started keeping me locked inside took my car away and bought a new truck over40,000, and then a Harley Davidson 12,000.00, and also we rent our home out and he get his pay plus the rental money and now is not paying on my home. He moved out, leaving me living with my Dad to provide for us, I filed for child support through irs, and it’s been months, I only have received one payment in two months of 250.00! He has all the vehicles, changes address, I don’t know his new one, never since possessing us, he has kept all his money earned for the last 4-5 years, opened a bank account without me, has the keys to the truck and motorcycle, we are literally prisoners, I can’t even file for divorce cause he has all the money. If I can get my family to help and file, getting allimony? He makes 70,000.00 plus bonus quartly, and $9,000.00 a year in profit from rental home. If I can get money borrowed a get a lawyer, he has more cash to get a better lawyer and I am scared I will get screwed. Raw estimate, can you tell me what you think I would get in Alimoney, and child support? Would I get one of the vehicles, and would he have to pay monthly payment, what about the house? We have no credit cards, only the two vehicles he just purchased when he left home (isn’t that funny!) 718.00 ,onto truck payment, 400.00 bike, insurance 300.00, and mortgage/taxes/insurance 730.00. He pays no living expense living with a friend. Don’t know where all his money is going. Just need to know estimate min what I will get. Can anyone please help me?? Btw, I have to now get food stamps of 540.00 a month for four do us which isn’t nearly enough, and healthcare, my spouse gets vision and dental though work for us and pays 45.00 a month for the benefit

    • HowardIken

      Not sure what your question is. But it does sound like you have a strong alimony case.

      • Gina Townsend

        Thanks for answering my above post, sorry I was so unclear on my question. I am just curious how much you think I would get in alimony for being married almost 20years, (see my above info if need ) he earns 78,000.00 plus bonus, are only debts are the truck and motorcycle he just purchased both, and then a home we have equity in that we are renting until we see who gets what in divorce.Besides Alimony, leaving me without a vehicle (just recently) Would I get awarded the truck too,(if so would he have to pay, like he always has) or would my alimony have to cover the truck payment? and do you know how much I would aprox. get for child support on my 2 kids? ( not sure about the 18 year old cause of her needs) I know you can’t say exact but can you give me a bare Min. Amount for alimony, and child support based on the fact I provided above? thank you.
        I am huts trying to see what I would aprox get, before trying to find a lawyer, he left June so I am assuming child support will go back to then correct? I filled to receive though IRS and they have been no help.
        Thanks again Also what is the Alimony Reform Bill? And does it effect me in anyway?

        • HowardIken

          Here is information on the alimony reform bill:

          • Gina Townsend

            Thanks, So the way I am understanding it, I should hold off until June 11, to file a petition for divorce so it will be considered “long term” and I can have a better case for alimony! I have only been married 19 years to date, even though I know our divorce will not be final until after June, from what I am reading, it clearly states the marriage length goes by the date we file, not the date of dissolution. Am I making any sense? I just don’t want to get taken through the wash. Thank you again

          • HowardIken

            Sorry. I cannot go as far as to tell you what to do. That is best done within a private consultation with full knowledge of your facts.

  • kay

    My son and his wife are divorcing. She hasn’t worked for about 4 years. BUT she has (without my son’s knowledge) taken money from her student loan about $25,000 also her own charge card he thought had a zero balance is about $800. Not including the actual college costs, the total is almost $40,000. All the $25,000 was spent on herself and I think her affairs. She had numerous affairs with different men. She filed right before he was going to file for divorce and she is requesting alimony for that marriage of less than 9 years. What are the chances he may have to pay her alimony? Thank you, Kay

  • Curious

    I am military. We have been married for 4 years. We were married previously for 7 years, got divorced and remarried after a 3 year divorce period. Things didn’t work. Will my previous marriage to her have an impact on my alimony or is the current 4 year marriage all that is considered?

    • HowardIken

      The current 4 year marriage will be considered.

  • ana

    My husband wants separation. I assume also divorce in half year or so. He separated me few weeks ago while I was out of country on vacation and told me not to come back. He / we moved from another state few weeks ago to Fl. I came back but dont have key to the new apartment and cannot even pick up my documents, our stuff. I am living with my minor child in a hotel right now. My son needs to go back to school but my husband refuses to register him ( is not his son) and I cannot do that since I dont have apartment yet. We are married 5 years, I have no income. I was stay at home mom last 7years.
    He makes $100 000 now.
    Would I get short term alimony like durational and rehabilitative one? Is there a temporary spousal alimony / support that I can file now without filing for divorce to be able to get apartment and job? How fast does court usually needs for such a situation?

    Please advise. thanks

    • HowardIken

      There actually is a statute that allows you to file for support without a dissolution (divorce). It may not be fast. That depends on the jurisdiction and their procedures. An attorney would be best in your situation.

  • Jim

    After 27 years of marriage I was divorced from my wife in April 2012. I have owned my own business for many years but my health has been diminishing for the past 5 and my income has gone down for the past few years and I could not afford to pay for an attorney for my divorce hearing. With that said, the judge issued me to pay my ex wife $250 (plus give her the house, 7 partials of land and a few other assets pertaining to my business). I was also ordered to pay her $250 alimony for the rest of her or my life (only way out was if one of us died!). In May, 2014, after many years of fighting for SSDI, I was finally granted full disability and have been given a fixed (but very low) monthly income. I’m barely able to make ends meat and the $250 a month is forcing me to ask for financial help from friends and relatives. I’ve reopened my divorce case pro se but her attorney is now throwing out all these motions and orders to me making me sound like a felon. I have no means to pay for an attorney to represent me but I have no clue what all this paperwork is about. Is there any way for me to get free legal representation in Levy County, Florida? I’ve tried Three Rivers but they tell me they don’t work on alimony cases and that’s the only free legal advice I can find in my area. ANY HELP would be greatly appreciated!!

    • HowardIken

      There are no other free services that I am aware of. Some local bar associations have reduced fee help. Some courthouses have attorneys that will charge by the minute (reduced) for legal advice. Not trying to be abrasive – but your post suggests you have land. As you can see the decision not to go all-out raising money for an attorney has an ultimate cost.

  • iksul

    I have been married to my husband 6 years next month and been together ten years. We have two small children, 3 and 5, together. My husband is an executive chef and works 80+ hours most of the year. Due to this we made the decision for me to be a stay at home mother. I also took on 100% of the household, financial, and child rearing responsibilities. My husband had an affair and has decided to leave us for her. He makes 80k annual plus an additional 14k in bonuses. Once we divorce I will still be responsible for 80%+ of the child rearing due to his work schedule. Am I a candidate for alimony?

    • HowardIken

      You may have a claim for some form of temporary alimony. It could possible last years. Only the time married – not the time living together counts. On the kids – the court cannot force a bad parent to spend time with kids.

  • Chrissy

    I’ve been married for 26 yrs. and my husband had a significant weight loss (shots and pills) from Feb. 2014-July 2014. He had acted completey out of character and started going out and staying out throughout the monthly of July. In July he said he wanted to make marriage work BUT on his terms. Counseling, etc. and when he felt it would work would come back home. He is currently a Police Lieutenant and the apt he shares with his mother is 50 reduced for law enforcement (they split rent apporx 300 each)
    . He makes appox. 75K a year. I have supported him througout his career and eduction. He currently has a Masters Degree. I am currently working full time (since Jan 2014) and prior to that had lost my job for approx. 3 or so years. Even thought I currently make apporx. 53K a year would I be eligible for Alimony in addition to Child Support? I have 2 kids ages: 19 (full time student) and age 13. I have also found out he is cheating on me (if that matters) if so do I need a pic? He also recently withdrew $6000. from his Pension and spent all on a weekend in Miami. What could I potentially be eligible for? He left the house that we own and has only beend paying the mortgage and cell phones. I’m paying everything else. Your thoughts?

    • Chrissy

      Is there anyone available to answer my question?

    • HowardIken

      Probably not a strong alimony case because you earn 53K. Adultery cannot be used in Florida to increase an alimony obligation.

      • Chrissy

        Even though I supported him throughout his 16 yr. career and his education? He has a Master’s degree and I do not have any degree. And for the past 3 yrs. I have not been working or I’ve been working on/off and I’ve only been working at my current job for about 7 months????

        • HowardIken

          That is not to say we would not file a case seeking alimony. But my quick opinion based on one minute of information stands.

    • been there

      File NOW, before more marital (pension) assets disappear on weekend trysts. His mother, girlfriend or himself had to have signed your name to withdraw or take loan against the pension.Or he obtains loans against jointly held real estate. Get your own car insurance if he is listed first, it is his, before he removes you and nineteen year old and (the insurance company will not notify you) and you’re stuck with high risk policy due to period of time as uninsured motorist. Quietly get an investigator and forensic accountant, anything he spends on girlfriend comes off his 50% Secure the home computer He WILL get nasty when you put a stop to his shenanigans. Florida is no fault state, but in 20 including Florida still have laws on the books against cheating on your spouse. Per the alimony calculator on a 26 yr marriage, you would be eligible for alimony based on your need and his ability to pay. Not to mention 50% of ALL marital assets including pension etc. Minimally it’s his turn to pay for your higher education.Florida doesn’t require he help pay college tuition post divorce but he will pay child support P.S.He is not coming back to the marriage, just stalling you with that nonsense while he gets his “ducks in a row” you can bet he’s talked to an attorney and is maneuvering behind-the-scenes. PSS Police officers often have moral clauses in their employment concerning conduct unbecoming an officer

  • monique

    Im married for two years can i receive alimony?

    • HowardIken

      A lot more info is needed. But a claim for alimony is an extreme long shot in a two year marriage.

  • Wouldliketoknow

    Married 12 years, wife is federally disabled (and was so long before we married). My income from permanent retirement check, and work as a teacher is about 66000. If it is relevant, two people are willing to testify of her being abusive (physically, verbally, emotionally).

    • HowardIken

      There are quite a few facts that go into an alimony decision. There is not enough her to give a definitive answer.

  • Carlos Everfield

    Hello, I was married for just over 10 years and long enough for my former spouse to receive 50% of my military pension. Our divorce decree also stated that I pay her $600 per month alimony, even though, she was working full time and made pretty good money on her own, at least enough to buy a home in a really expensive neighborhood and also purchase a new car. I financially have not been able to purchase any property or have I had a vehicle in the past 4 years. I take public transportation to and from work. Shortly, after my retirement from the military, I spoke to her about dropping the alimony payments since she was receiving 1/2 of my military pension, she at that time concurred, but she did not agree to have the divorce decree amended. It is now 10 years later, and I received a letter from the debt collection agency she hired that I owe her $64,800 for back alimony payments. It stated she has fallen on hard times and now needs for me to pay her back alimony, that she verbally agreed I did not have to pay. A month before then, I had received a similar letter from another Law Office, claiming $87,000 owed in back alimony, We spoke on the phone and I asked if we can settle this dispute between her and I, and she requested $2,000 per month ($20,000 lump payment) for the past 10 years, plus the reinstatement of the $600 alimony payments, which I agreed to. She now had a change of heart and decided to pursue more money. I wish to take this matter to the court, I would like to know if there is any way I can win this case.
    Need some advise on this matter.
    Thank you

    • HowardIken

      The facts are not one your side because you never followed through to amend the final judgment. But there may be a chance if you have some of the agreement in writing, text, or email.

  • mary79

    Hello, I have been married for 8 years, my husband cheated on me about a month ago. Currently he is living with his new girlfriend. I make about $150 or $200 more than him monthly. The fact that he left the our house, left me without enough money to support myself. We don’t have any kids, only one dog. Can I file for temporary alimony while going through all this? Thanks!!!

    • HowardIken

      If you earn more than him – it is hard to see how you would get temporary alimony. But you can always try and see what happens.

  • mary79

    I forgot to say that we got married in Venezuela and since I’m an American citizen, I filed a petition for his residency card. Is my marriage valid in the courts of Florida?

    • HowardIken


  • Nichole

    I have been married for more then 30 yrs we live in kansas.. he has cheated with a girl i raised since she was 13 how do i go about alimony..

    • HowardIken

      Sorry. This site is for Florida law. Every state is different – especially about alimony.

  • Louise

    Marriage 30 years. Man now on ss 2000 a month bankrupt. Wife ss 800 month. He is retired 67 she 64 doesn’t want to work. Separated 10 years. How much does he pay?

    • HowardIken

      Most likely nothing. The fact they were separated for 10 years changes everything. But of course, every case is different.

  • fourdemocracy

    What is the time limit for a motion to set aside a mediation contract? A mediation contract can be negated if there is fraud or misrepresentation even if it is “non-modifiable”? My husband’s financial affidavit filed with the court is misleading as to our total net worth, his “income” vrs. mine and annuity amounts are missing altogether. He claimed stress and suffering not being able to pay temporary alimony even though the total net worth was in the millions, etc. The whole mediation was a ruse.

    • HowardIken

      Answered on another page. Fraud is difficult to prove – but it can be done with the right amount of effort.

  • Ann

    I have been married for 12 years. My husband and I have four children, ages 7, 4, 3, and 8 months. He currently makes 80,000.00 a year. I have not worked for the past 8 years, as I stay at home with our kids, and homeschool our oldest. I do not have a college degree. My husband went to school and received his degree while we were married. I found out he has been engaging in an affair with a coworker for a year and a half. If we divorced, will I be able to receive alimony as well as child support? I am trying to figure out what I would receive financially to continue to care for our children.

    • HowardIken

      There would definitely be child support. But the amount and direction would depend on how many overnights the kids spend with each parent. It sounds to me like you would be entitled to some form of short term alimony. Short term can last for years.

  • Cosmonemo

    I was married for over 11 years (legally) and lived together for 22 in total. Have two children (20 & 22). Divorced in 2010 and went through a lot of emotional and financial turmoil. Would it be possible to get alimony, after the fact, if I still have financial difficulties and have been unable to regain my footing since the divorce. I am no longert a Florida resident but my ex still is. Please advise.

    • HowardIken

      If your case proceeded to final judgment without any alimony provisions – you cannot reopen your claim.

  • Larry

    I’ve been separated for 18 years and never got a divorce. My wife committed adultery and went on to have 3 more children after I left the marriage. I have no idea where she is or how to contact her. I have met someone and now want a divorce. My question is, is she entitled to any alimony. I am a Florida resident and got married in Florida.

    • HowardIken

      I cannot see how someone could claim an alimony entitlement after an 18 year separation.

  • Craig

    I have a good one:
    Been married 13 years.
    Wife has her bachelors, then went back and got a 2-year degree and is now going back again for a masters.
    I only have a H.S diploma and have been trying to complete college. Each time she decides to go back to school, I have to stop because I cannot handle running the household as well as raising our child. I will also most likely end up with custody of our child (aiming for a 70/30 agreement) as her schedule will require the child to be at a third party care taker approximately 80% of her time with them. Read a 6am-7-8pm work day 5 days a week and sleep all weekend..where as I have a set 730-4p schedule.

    Her salary is more than double mine and has been for approximately 4-5 years, prior to that we were equal.

    How would alimony work in this situation? Am I going to be required to pay her child support/alimony even though I make nearly 110% less than her? I will barely be able to afford rent and basic living expenses on my salary alone.

    • HowardIken

      What makes you think that you would have an alimony obligation?? Based on those facts – definitely not !

  • Melanie

    I have been married for 12 years. I am 42 and my husband is 66. I currently make 68k/annually and his income is a little under $7k/annually from SSA. He has stayed at home since they kids were born (now ages 10 and 11) even though he no longer needs to and doesn’t work. Will I have to pay alimony?

    • HowardIken

      Not enough info here to tell. But alimony is definitely on the table.

  • Carmen

    I have been married for 35 years, we recently seperated 2 years ago. My husband cheated on me to the point that he got infected with a permanent desease. We lived in seperate rooms raising the children, who are now 34 & 32 years of age. I never worked and never completed high school. I did obtain a esthetician license but not able to find work. I do not have money, he left me with a home in foreclosure and he is threating to leave me with nothing.
    1. Can I contract an attorney and he pay the fees during the divorce?
    2. Should I get alimony?
    3. Half of his social security?

    • HowardIken

      Sounds like an alimony case. Sorry but there is not enough here to answer those far-reaching questions.

  • isa

    I been married for 38 year ago , my husband shated on me oll theas yea, 2 month ago we separated becose he don’t want nothing with me in theas moment I stay with my daughter , I want to now , if with no divorce I can get alimony, I in pemanent desability and we are 60 year old.

    • HowardIken

      Alimony is based on many factors. But there is normally a strong claim for alimony in a 38 year marriage.

  • Duke1

    My ex wife and I were married over 30 years. We both worked. No kids. My income was typically higher than hers. I had an affair and we separated for three years. During that time I was giving her more than half my income every week because I knew I was at fault and felt tremendous guilt. After three years we decided to make it permanent and get divorced. She asked for alimony and I agreed to pay her $500 per month. At the time I had a relatively good job in construction but I was still struggling to make ends meet. Shortly after the divorce my job was eliminated and I was out of work so I could not keep up the payments. I met someone and eventually moved in with her. I have been struggling to start a new career in real estate and she has been paying all of the expenses. I help out as much as I am able to buying groceries, making repairs around her home, and picking up whatever costs I have money for but I know I’m coming up short. In the mean time I have no money to send to my ex wife who now makes more than I do even though her income is also very low. Recently I have been sending $25 a month which is about all I can scrape together Can I go back to court and have the alimony reduced or eliminated and if so how?

    • HowardIken

      Yes, absolutely. You must file a petition for modification. This is best done with the help of an attorney.

  • Chicky

    I have been married for 14 years, and separated from my ex-husband for 2 years. I am disabled and I receive SSA for myself and my daughter totaling $2325.00 a month, . I am not divorced because he wants me to pay for it. All he claims is that he has no money all the time. He abandoned the household after 12 years of marriage. He left during my most worst state of health. Do I qualify for Alimony?

    • HowardIken

      Most likely. But there is a lot of missing information here. An alimony case is much more complex then just a couple of facts.

  • gibson

    My wife and I have been married for just over 12 years I receive social security and a British pension that total a little over $1300 a month, I work part time and make about $500 a month for a total of $1800. My wife receives ssn and a small British pension of $2000 a month plus a disability pension of $2300. Her son moved in with us he is 39 and he pays $800 a month room and board. This caused major problems in our relationship and she has now kicked me out of the house we rent for $1100 a month. I am 73 and she is 64. I have to live with friends at the moment and look for a place to live. Can I receive alimony and would her disability pension and room and board from her son be on the table.

    • HowardIken

      Normally you would seek some form of short term alimony in a 12 year marriage. There are many other facts that would go into an alimony decision.

  • FrankGe

    I was separated for five years and tried to make it work, paying support the entire time. Almost two of those years she had a boyfriend living with her that paid almost nothing. The divorce is now final and she moved to Chicago with him where he has a job. I support our sun for the last few years and he will be 18 soon. I cover all costs for him and college. I was married about 17 years, she never worked but we always had the boys in day care or after school because she could not deal with them all day. Ok, so a lot of gym time for her and tennis lessons. I found out she has been cheating on me most of our marriage. I pay over half of my salary and for healthcare for here and I also cover taxes for the alimony. This is in order for her to get training as a paralegal, she also has training as an unltrasound technician and has an associates degree too. I cover taxes and healthcare until she gets a job or until the end of 2017. They now live in a nice house, she might be getting a part time job too. Do I have any recourse for modification or supportive relationship. Im not greedy I just don’t see how to make my bills and put my son through college.
    Thank you

    • HowardIken

      Yes – the supportive relationship statute does work on occasion. It can be an uphill battle but you can get a modification if you can prove there is significant support flowing in her direction. On the practical side she will experience pressure to settle if you file a modification petition and that frequently produces a settlement.

  • James

    Hello, I have been married 9 years and on 8/2/2014 I found out my wife was having an affair. It was immediately ended. She did not spend marital assets on the affair. She was fired from her job for inappropriate conduct related to the affair. She has found a new job but in an attempt to reconcile she has become pregnant. We will have been married for just under ten years when the child is born in May 2015. I make a base salary of $110,000 plus an annual bonus that has averaged about $20,000. At her new job she makes $75,000 plus a bonus of about $8,000. What is the likelihood that I will be required to pay alimony in the event that we get divorced shortly after 10 years of marriage. She is a professional with years of work experience and a Law degree though she does not practice. We have assets of approximately $40,000 in home equity, $55,000 in retirement funds, $10,000 in a paid off car and $30,000 in household goods. I would be willing to give up some or all of my half of the assets to ensure that I don’t pay alimony as well as agree to paying monthly childcare expenses of $1,500 and carrying our children on my medical expenses. I would like to have 50/50 or full custody of the 2 children but I think that she would only do 50/50.

    • HowardIken

      I do not believe this will be an alimony situation given the relative incomes and the length of the marriage.

  • Diane

    I was disabled for 13 years when my husbandand ran out on me (snuck out in the middle of the night and left note) January 2 years ago and left me no money. I started getting SSI of $740.00 about a year ago. Now he wants to divorce me. How much alimony would I get?

    • HowardIken

      I would not be able to answer that question with the small amount of information given. Alimony is more complex than one sentence of info.

  • Diane


    a few seconds ago

    I was disabled for 13 years when my husbandand ran out on me (snuck
    out in the middle of the night and left note) January 2 years ago and
    left me no money. I started getting SSI of $740.00 about a year ago.
    Now he wants to divorce me. How much alimony would I get? We’ve3 been married 26 years.

  • Dee

    I have been divorced for over a year now. I was awarded alimony for five years at 2500.00 a month. He does not pay close to that amount each month. I am losing the house to foreclosure because of non payment. Do I have any recourse to sue him for the money I would have made on the house if I sold it.

    • HowardIken

      No. But you can certainly file a Motion for Contempt and hold a hearing to enforce the alimony obligation.

  • sunshinerae

    a friend of mine has been married for 9 years. (10 on feb 14 2015). him and his wife separated in oct 2014. he send money to her every 2 weeks for child support (not court ordered). he received divorce papers last week. shes asking for $600/mo in alimony in addition to child support. she lives in florida, he lives in VA. he doesnt work and hasnt since the oldest was born (8yrs or so). is he responsible for paying alimony? if so, any clue as to how much?

  • TimmanJAX

    Married 14 years in May 2015, I make 105K gross annually, spouse makes 400K gross annually. we have two kids (9,10). I had an affair (not sure if important) about 1.5 years ago, we tried to make it work over last 18 months, but its not. Now she wants me to move out because I don’t even want to go to counseling anymore, even though, I’d probably just stay for the kids. She wants me to live on my check, and her on her check. I am concerned that we separate for a year and then file for divorce, and I have set a precedent that I can/have lived on my income (therefore no chance at alimony. I know that a lot of people would be happy to have 105K, and my wife says that since I make enough to live on, I am not eligible for anything. I am also concerned that moving out will also negatively effect child sharing (even though she has said she wants 50/50). I know I could live on my income, just without the pool, nice neighborhood, car, vacations, etc, that she can provide to the kids when they are with her. I used your calculator, and it estimated 5K per month in alimony, but then the likelihood calculator said my likelihood was weak. The first several years of our marriage, I made more money than she, its just been the last 5 or 6 that she overtook me when she was fully into her career (obviously she overtook me in a big way). I have not seen a lawyer yet, for fear of appearing confrontational, but she has a friend that is actually in family law that she hangs out with (and I assume gets some advice). I just don’t want to make a big mistake by going ahead an moving out. Wondering if were going that direction, if I should just stay, and go straight to divorce when we decide to officially act. We have about $300K in liquid assets. I do believe it is irreconcilable at this point (99.9%)… Which is why ive basically stopped trying (counseling). I would like to get the alimony for the length of time that the children will still be living at home (about 8 years). I realize I will get child support in this case, but even with the gross disparity in income it does not add up to much (per the calculators that I’ve used). Additional info, we have paid off about 50K in her Ccard debt that she had before marriage, and we paid off 200K in student loans during the marriage.

    • HowardIken

      I agree. Your situation may be irrevocably shifted if you separate for a year. You need a private consultation first. We do that for free.

      • TimmanJAX

        Unfortunately I live in Jax, no where near any of your offices.

        • HowardIken

          That will change later in the year.

  • HowardIken

    It is atypical only because those facts are rare. But the law favors both genders equally. That includes alimony considerations.

  • FN

    I will be Married 15 years this febuary but only live under the same roof for 5 years, we have two children 11,10 went my second child was born i was having an affair she moved out and left with my childrens. Now as i am asking for a divorce she is seeking alomony she has a part time job and gets public assistance would i have to giver her alomony, i already giver child support.

    • HowardIken

      You have a situation that is not run of the mill. A more in depth look would be required.

  • Jeff b

    I have been married for 12 1/2 years in florida. My wife receives $3095 tax free from VA disability. My income is $3985 gross, after tax its $3190. Is my gross income compared to her gross non taxed income in calculating alimony?

    • HowardIken

      Yes. It is hard to see how this would be an alimony case where the incomes are almost equal.

  • JimmyS

    I have been married for 9 years in Florida. My wife attempted to cheat on my and later accused me of touching my daughter inappropriately. I even found 7 videos she made interrogating my daughter trying to get my daughter to say I did which of course my daughter says the whole time that I didn’t. I have endured 2 police and CPIS investigations now which have both been closed because I have been found not guilty. Truth is she has tried to put me in jail for something she knows I didnt do. My wife suffers from depression and bi-polar disorder. She record our conversations and takes them to our friends (which are really my friends) and lets them listen to them. She hasn’t worked most of our marriage due to depression. As far as income. I earned close to $110K as a 1099. This includes massive amounts of business expenses of products that I have purchased for jobs and later have been reimbursed for. We have a 5 year old daughter that I want custody of and because of her actions with inappropriate videos as well as evidence I have of her trying to defraud our bankruptcy with an inheritance she was trying to hide my attorney is fairly certain I will get majority custody. How do I fare as far as alimony is concerned?

    • HowardIken

      Not enough info here to answer. But a claim for alimony is limited in a marriage lasting 9 years.

  • Nancy

    Been married 16 year in Florida became disable 2005 after back surgery. Have not worked since 2007 receive 1092 month in disablility. My husband makes 38,000 a year and has investment worth 250000. He drinks too much and becomes mean and maybe having an affair. Need to know where I stand in alimony or should I just try to make it work. My health is not good have asthma, back and leg problem , etc..all children are growth and from different marriages. Thank

    • HowardIken

      It sounds like there would be a strong claim for alimony.

  • Josie

    Married for 17 years. He has been the breadwinner but I have stayed home, took care of kids, and worked from home. He earns $75/hour. Last year I was lucky to get a temporary at home job for $30/hour but not sure how much longer it will last. Periodically, I make small commissions as a realtor. I have Crohn’s Disease which at times make me unable to work in an office. He had an affair for 5 months. What is the fair amount to ask for alimony?

    • HowardIken

      I cannot answer that without knowing a lot more. But you should try our alimony calculator to experiment with different factors:

      • Josie

        The calculator is helpful thank you. The bigger question for me aside from the amount is how many years I should receive alimony. He only wants to give me 5 years of alimony until our daughter is 18. I think I should receive more. What is the case law? What is fair?

        • HowardIken

          Normally in a 17 year marriage the alimony duration would be significantly longer.

  • terri

    i live in fla, i have been married for 6 years,but lived with my wife for 6 years before we got married. would that time we live together count towards alimony (duration)?

    • HowardIken

      Definitely not.

  • JC

    I live in South, FL and have been married 25 years. My wife is separating from me, as she is going through the change of life and doesn’t know whether she wants to be with me or not.
    She is leaving the marital home and has signed a lease on her own apartment. This leaves me paying for the family home. She is an IT Professional that makes $55,000 and I am a Director making 109,000.00. The funds for both residences will be taken out of joint funds until she decides what she wants to do. The mortgage on the home is in my name, but she is on the deed. The apartment is in her name. If we decide to divorce, will I be responsible for her lease as a marital liability under the 50/50 debt rule, or not? The bills for both the home and apartment and other bills equal what we take home now, so there is no excess money. If this eventually ends in divorce, will I need to pay alimony if she can afford her own living expenses after the house is sold an she receives half of that income?
    We have no minor children and have equal amounts in our retirement accounts. How does her moving out affect any of this?

    • HowardIken

      You are not really responsible for her lease. But this may (or may not be) an alimony case You may want to read up on the pending legislation. The timing of your potential case will probably fall under the new proposed alimony statute:

    • JC

      Thank you for answering. If I am keeping the home to house 2 children in college and pay for their college, cars, medical etc. and she pays nothing, will she still get alimony? After paying all these bills, I’ll make less than her!

      • HowardIken

        Keep in mind that adult children are irrelevant in alimony law. There is no legal obligation to support adult children.

  • Derek

    I live in Florida , recently had a divorce trIal and awaiting for final judgement in writing . I acted as pro se, wife had attorney,she was awarded permanent alimony $920 / month. After 17 years of mariagge , she is making 25 k , I make 65 k . Judge ordered selling both houses and equal distribution of assets. I also have to pay her lawyers fee 4k in two months.
    Judge said that I can appeal it and have two weeks to do it .if don’t agree
    Can I pay lawyers fee’s in installments for longer period time that 2 months ?
    If both sides don’t agree to judges order to sell houses can be this modified ?
    Or. It’s too late .is it too late to hire attorney for me .after final judgement .
    Is. It even worth to appeal .
    Thank you

    • HowardIken

      An appeal is expensive. Most of them do not succeed. But it would be impossible to tell if you have a strong appeal without extensive knowledge of the case. Both sides can enter a later-agreement to treat the potential sale of the houses differently than the final order calls for. The lawyers fees are ordered by the court in a specific way. That cannot be unilaterally changed.

  • NW

    Hello, I am in Tampa Fl Hillsborough county,and am experiencing exactly what your website indicates no billing invoice from my attorney and just prolonging of this case and no responses to deadlines! It has been over 7months since the initial filing of divorce in August 2014 and we have had our first case show in court Jan 2015 but only to cancel mediation thereafter as my ex will not complete our affidavits requests on time. We just had a deposition and his lawyer stated he was the one to delay in giving us more paperwork but my ex had given it to him,no extensions was requested by them! Can his attorney take on that role and not abide by deadlines we gave them our second request to compel and final notice to do so? What do I do now leagally as my Lawyer is also not taking any further actions to pursue it but just seems to give more notices that come and go and no ones is abiding by it only to delay? In the meantime my ex is dispating income,selling marital assets and i have no alimony support or temporary relief as of yet, my child had no parenting plans etc. Needless to say we cant determine spousal income as he is a business owner fully in control of the income and so now i have to hire auditors etc. I need to know how to bring this to court that my ex and his lawyer are just prolonging the inital requests for disclosures even after many requests and have said so in our deposition which also was incomplete to due lack of disclosures? Please advise!!

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Sorry. With the limited scope of this Q & A, I cannot diagnose your case. But why are you still with an attorney that has lost your faith?

  • shannon

    Hi I live in Florida. married 12 years with 2 young children. I left my full time job when we had our first child and worked out of home for supplemental income ever since. My husband left me for another woman and as moved out. He is not being reasonable and is threatening to destroy mw now financially. As if he hasn’t done enough. He makes about $130,000 annually plus commissions. I made about $20,000. I was a stay at home mom-involved in kids school etc. Is it possible for him to really destroy me financially? I am not sure how I should be prepared. We are both college educated. I can not afford an attorney. He handled all bills so i dont even know what we have except my won income which I spent on misc (kids school items, clothes, groceries). I am afraid everything is about to get shut off. Can you tell PLEASE help me with the following:
    1. is he liable to continue to pay the bills he was paying when he left?
    2. Do you have any idea what % alimony would be for me or child support?
    3. We were in the process of buying me a new car when he left. He had a blank check and we had narrowed down vehicles. Mine is extremely old and about to go and I drive kids all over. Am I also out of a new vehicle?
    4. Do I have to move out of the house or will he have to keep paying out mortgage?

    Thank you sooo much for your help. I need to start preparing for the worse.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Things will get tough before they get better. You are going to need to plan ahead for your case. The key point you need to get to is known as a Temporary Relief Hearing. Most likely, he will be ordered to do just about everything you stated. But in the short term you need to scrape up money for an attorney. This is not a case where you want to go it alone.

  • Todd

    Hello, Me and my wife have been married for 22 years, all the kids are grown. We have been living separated but in the same house for the last 4years. She has been a stay home mom for the last 8 years, but has worked in the past. I am military, so we move around a lot. She is 50 years old, no college degree and currently still resides in the house with me, as we are going thru a divorce now. We live in Florida. I am wondering what a fair amount would be for Alimony and for how long. I’m an E-7, and I retire in 8 months, which will significantly reduce my income. Any advice would be appreciated… also if more info is needed I can fill a page here. Thank you!

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      There is not enough here to give specific advice like that. Have you experimented with our alimony calculator?

      • Todd

        I have, and it always comes out a crazy amount… talking like almost $2,500 per month. There’s no way I could afford to pay that and still manage bills and eat.

  • guest

    Hello, I am into a predicament. I am 42 years old woman who started in a relationship on 1999. We got married in 2002. I’ve been in a verbal abusive relationship for all this years, which caused me a depression and anxiety. I’ve been working temporarly, because his job requires to travel out of town, which its mean I am the only adult staying at home to take care of our child. I’ve been asking about get separate and live separate with my child, but he threated me to quit his job, in order not to pay child support and alimony. He is a college graduated and works for the same company about a decade. Basically, his career its doesn’t allowed me to continue with mine, because as I mentioned before I take care of our child as stay home mom. His earning are about 70,000 a year. But, I am very willing to work, and move on with my life. Do you know how much money he should give in order to maintain our daughter? and maybe alimony? Thank you for your help.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      You should try our child support and alimony calculators – on this site. Because of the new proposed alimony statute in Florida, the subject of alimony is in flux for the next six months.

  • Lost/confused

    We have been married 8 & 1/2 years (11/04/06), petition hasn’t been filed yet. He is asking for a divorce. He makes about $200,000 a year, and I have been a stay at home mom/step mom for 8 years, so my income is $0. We don’t have any kids together, I have 2 which I get irregular child support for (court orderedn$200 each), and he has 1 he pays $300 month child support for. The reason I quit my job was childcare was so expensive since we have 50/50 custody of his son and mine full time. He works out of town, and didn’t want me to work since that would prevent frequent visits with him. He cheated 4 years ago, got an attorney, claimed to have filed for divorce, then had a change of heart. I wanted my marriage to work, so I took him back. Now, I believe he’s doing it again. All he has done is lie to me, and was home 2 weeks for Easter, none of which he spent with me. Claimed he needed space, and that turned into lies and him refusing to tell me what he was doing. We are seperated, I have the proof from last time, but don’t have any physical proof this time, he was smarter in his choices. Although, his actions tell me he is hiding something. And it’s obvious actions. As far as assets, he says I can have everything in the house. Which is normal household furniture. I can’t afford to get a place, a vehicle, or support my kids. I have tried to get a job, and can’t get one. I have re-registered in school to finish my degree I started the first time he did this, and then had me stop after I finished the semester I was in to be with him. Do you think I can get alimony? If so, how much? I’m trying to be prepared, I have to worry about my kids!

    • Todd

      I’m no lawyer or anything, but I can tell you for sure… Yes, you can. As far as how much… best to consult an attorney. If you find one that gives a free consult, you can put all your questions on the table, same thing I did.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      It sounds to me like you may have a good claim for rehabilitative alimony. But alimony is a complex subject. I agree with the below opinion – it is best to come in to us for a free consultation.

  • scared/worried

    I have been married just shy of 10 years. I am 37 and he is 35. I have been totally and completely disabled for 17 years now and receive $753 monthly SSI/DI benefits. Spouse earns $39K annually. We have one 6 year old child together. Due to my disability I have no job skills and truly no possibility of holding a job. Despite the short term of our marriage, would I qualify for alimony? If so, would I be a candidate for permanent or just temporary? Thank you.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      The fact your disability occurred before the marriage will impact any alimony decision. Another issue, a new alimony bill is progressing in Florida that may eliminate permanent alimony. But you certainly have a claim for temporary alimony.

  • Katie

    My friend is getting divorced. He is 31 his wife is 25, they have been married since December 2010. He has a child from a previous relationship and he has full custody. There are no children between these two. Wife works and goes to school. He is in the Navy. She wants temporary, bridge the gap and rehabilitative alimony. His income is approximately $5k before taxes per month and part of that ($2,246.00 a month) the military gives him to pay for housing. Is his wife a good candidate for alimony? I am unsure how much she earns she is a store manager and was previously making around $30-$32k annually, at a previous job.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Any claim for alimony is weak in a 5 year marriage. There would have to be compelling circumstances.

  • Chris

    My friend is getting divorced. He is 30 his wife is 33. They have been married one year. They have one child together and one through a previous marriage. He makes $36k annually. She has been staying at home and is about to complete one semester of college courses (basic) for her husband (through GI Bill). She wants bridge the gap and/or rehabilitative alimony claiming she could have been taking a specific vocational course to obtain a $18 per hour job about a year from now. Is wife a good candidate for alimony even though the marriage has been only one year?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      I cannot imagine someone getting alimony after a 1 year marriage. That would be extremely rare.

  • mommy

    Hi. My husband I will be married for 12 years in August. we have two boys. He just got a raise and will be making 80,000+ and I make 35,000. What are my chances at getting alimony?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Too close to tell without an in-depth look.

      • mommy

        Our rent is $1200 a month plus bills. I have the boys on my insurance which is $200 a month. He is getting his own place in two weeks and I’m moving bsck into our place.

      • mommy

        Also can I file for child support before we file for divorce? I have no idea when we are going to file. Im afraid his new girlfriend will get pregnant on purpose. I dont want her to file first even though that’ll take months for her to have a baby.

  • Helmut Paffrath

    Wer’e 4 Years married, 15 months separated, during the separation she live complete on her own with out any support from me. She it’s employed and have her own business running. Now she ask for $1900 per month. can she get it?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Most likely not.

  • mike

    i have been married 14 years. We have no kids together but i did help raise her 4 kids. In the past she left me twice for other men both times i forgave her and let her come back. Recently i found she was seeing someone else again .I couldnt handle this again so i left and filed for divorce. The guy she was seeing would not leave his wife for her and now she is saying she is going after alimony in our divorce. What are the odds of her getting it. I dont want anything from her just the divorce but i dont feel i should have to pay her for something that she caused to happen. I make around 45 a year and she makes around 22 a year.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      There are too many facts that go into an alimony case to give a simple answer. But in a 14 year marriage, in general, permanent alimony is off the table.

  • Hooper777

    Can social security be offset in a divorce where the parties were married for over 40 years?

  • Larry

    We have been married for 14 years she skipped town and moved to Florida. I live in Pennsylvania. I filed for spousal support here and she did not respond to the order to appear. The hearing officer stated he would check with Florida to see if they would handle her end there. I was disabled while married to her. How will Florida handle it? Will they force her to appear?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Florida does not get involved in spousal support cases from other states.

  • Pauline

    My husband was married to his x for 11 yrs. no children but a stepson he supported throughout marriage. All but 2.5 yrs were spent separated or she was in a treatment facility. She has collected disability during the marriage (and still), assume she is tapping into his ss (he is 72 and she is 68) AND she has been collecting monthly alimony of $375 monthly since ’91!!!!!! He is now retired and on ss. We live out of state since 2013. Can we ever end this incredibly unfair legal shakedown we have endured for years??? We have been light years beyond fair and want this to end now. I am 53 and still employed. Can we pursue this and expect to win or will it continue and then come after my income?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Your income should not enter the picture. We would have to look at relative incomes and also read the court order to give a better opinion.

      • shawna

        i have a question , my husband has took his childs mother to mediation for custody time sharing, he later had to file contempt because she did not obey the rules. he just went back to court and has been recommended by the judge to be taken off child support and has full custody of his son , we are waiting for the second judge to sign off on the final judgment , they say by law it takes 14 days or something, is this true ? and why

  • Suzanne

    My husband and I have been married for 18.7 years. He is in the military and I have been a stay at home mother to our two children pretty much the entire time due to marrying out of high school and following his career. He had an affair with another military member a few years ago. I stayed for a year trying but could not emotionally get over it so I decided to separate and moved back home to FL with the children. He soon followed but stationed in another county. I immediately began college courses (full time) seeking a degree in which I have yet completed. I also obtained a job but It only offers less than part time hours. I am basically a full time mother, student and trying to work which is hard to do with no degree at the age of 37. He will retire after 20 years of service at the age of 39. His attorney wants a provision in the settlement that his retirement constitutes as a substantial change in income as he does not want to pay me alimony, and plans to have all support obligations modified . He holds a top secret security clearance yet wants to take a much lower paying job than he makes now. I know I qualify for Permanent alimony but I only asked for seven years to get kids raised and my career started. He wants to use that provision I stated above to terminate alimony upon his retirement. What is the likely hood of a judge awarding him reduction or termination of obligation ? I appreciate any response in advance. I’m drowning in student loans and debt to my parents to keep this settlement out of trial but I am charged every time I ask a question. if we do go to trial, what might the outcome be?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      A proper retirement age is normally considered a substantial change of circumstances. But retirement at 39 would never be considered a proper retirement age. I would think the offer is a poor deal for you. But this online question and answer format is a poor substitute for individualized advice.

  • Carrie

    I have been married 39 years 9 months, out of the blue my husband tells me he is not happy and wants a divorce. He wants to do a simplified divorce and has made an offer of $750.00 for 3 months, then $500.00 a month for 3 months. Our children are all grown, we own 2 homes, neither of us want to sell the homes and decided he will keep one and I will keep the other. He makes $65,000.00 a year and I was earning about $25,000.00 a year. After almost 40 years of marriage I do not think his offer of 6 months support is fair. He stated if I hire an attorney he will not give me anything until it is ordered through the courts, as well stated if I try and take this to court to get more money he will simply go to part time at his job. He does not have me on his insurance therefore I do not have any medical insurance at this time either. As I have had to move out of the home and into the other home, I am currently unemployed, therefore I feel backed against the wall with this. What is the likely hood of a judge awarding me support and for longer then 6 months?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      In a 39 year marriage the claim for permanent alimony is as strong as it can possibly get.

  • tammy

    I was married to ex husband for 17 years , Divorced and on divorce agreement received Permanent non-modifiable alimony. No exception of if I remarry , cohabitate , die nothing is stated. Can my husband modify this alimony if I move in with boyfriend. We are planning on living together but due to our incomes have to continue to pay our expenses seperate. Ex says due to FL cohabitation laws my alimony will be terminated. Is he correct.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      There is a cohabitation statute. But it is not automatic and is difficult to prove. It is not quite a simple as he is saying

  • Kendra

    I have been married for Nearly three years in November. I am planning to file for divorce in November of 2015. My husband has held three jobs for ver short durations of time over the past 2.5 years. I am the breadwinner making around 85k a year. My concerns are he will qualify for alimony. He has been unemployed now since February of 2015. What is the likihood he will be awarded alimony?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      Alimony is unlikely in a 3-year marriage.

  • Zeek

    Hey how’s it going? I’ve been married for 2 years, just got papers 2 days ago and she is asking for alimony. She’s a stay at home wife that quit her job before we got married and I make around $35,000 a year. Is that to short of a marriage for Florida to consider alimony?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      That is very short. Except for extraordinary circumstances, a 2 year marriage does not normally qualify for alimony.

      • Zeek

        Ok, thank you! Do you have an office that could do Homestead?

        • Attorney Howard Iken

          Yes. We have a full time office in miami

  • Favalll

    Hello, I have been married for 27 years with 2 grown-up adult children, 24 and 26, the later homebound, although a college graduate, due to autism. I make about $120,000, and my wife, $52,000. I am thinking of moving out of our $275,000 home and leave it to her before I file for divorce. Yet, your Alimony Calculator mentioned a $2,749 alimony award, and I am not sure I’ll be able to afford that, especially since I am retiring in one year or less, and my earnings will be cut down to about $70,000. Can this be possible, and if yes, can an attorney present my case in a way that the court would alleviate my situation? Please advise me on this.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      A possible way to reduce or offset alimony would be to give one spouse a larger share of assets – such as a house. The alimony calculator on our site is not an absolute. There are many creative arrangements for spousal support.

  • Opa

    HI, I have a few things I am unsure of as my friend has asked me if I can help him out. Here it is. He has been married for 40+ years. Over the last 15+ years they have grown apart. And he has realized he wants a divorce. She moved out end of Nov 2014 and left him in the house. She moved in with one of their children. They have 3 grown children. She refused to work even after the kids grew up. Stating she had to take care of the grandchildren. Also they are not US citizens but have been here over 25 years in the states. He works full time. She worked at first then decided it was too hard on her. He is going to be retiring in a few years and he don’t want to get stuck supporting her after he retires. He has not paid anything for her since she chose to move out. She does have a degree of some sort she got in England I am not sure what it is. She has enough money to live without his money. They have 2 houses in both their names he wants to sell the one here in FL and keep the other one he has. He make less than $30k a year. Is it possible for him to not have to pay alimony since she moved out and has not been back in the house since Nov 2014. Also she came back from her self paid way to England and announced she would not divorce him. He has not mentioned divorce to her at all. Not sure how much this makes sense to you. I just hate to see men get messed up for no reason when women can support themselves. I am a woman also by the way. Thank you. I hope you can advise me on this a little bit.

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      I am sorry but I cannot give immigration advice on this forum. We work extensively with another firm that would be more expert on this issue:

  • Modernpicassoguru

    I have been married for 16yrs and my wife and i have grown apart unfortunately…I make roughly $150,000 and she hasn’t worked in years just because she chooses not to…we just built a home in december and have about $100,000 equity on the home…First, do you think i will be paying permanent alimony and 2. I’m not sure what the monthly payout would be if we went to a mediator….After all the bills, taxes, med ins.I take home about $1700 per week…do you have a guesstimate of what it reasonable? I was going to offer $500 per week for 5 yrs?

    • Attorney Howard Iken

      We have an alimony calculator on this site that you may want to try. Other than that is is very difficult for me to come up with a number with knowing a lot more. You are certainly on the verge of permanent alimony if all we look at is the length of the marriage. But there are many different factors.

  • carl

    I have been married for 25 years and I found out my wife has been having an affair for more the 8 years. After I found out she moved out of the home and lived with her boyfriend for 2 years and by her attorneys advice she says she moved into her own place. For the 2 years she has not asked for support. I did hire a private investigator and have proof that both her and her boy friend had lived at the same address. Cars are registered with the same address. Also have checked her credit and shows the leasing company. What are my chances of fighting alimony?

  • christina

    my bf s soon to be ex wife is req alimony,yes they have been married 25 years however he just got approved for ssi still awaiting his disability. she makes more money than he does as well as she kept everything