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FAQ: Unified Family Court


Unified Family Court - (561) 355-6511

What is Alimony (Spousal Support)?

When you are separated or divorced, the judge may order one party to pay spousal support.

What determines the type, duration and amount of payments?

The court may look at a variety of factors (see Florida Statutes/case law). Some examples are:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Need of one party for support
  • Ability of one party to pay the support to the other party
  • Standard of living the parties have enjoyed together
  • Age of the parties
  • Health, education and skills of each party
  • Other criteria may also be considered pursuant to statute and case law
What are the types of alimony?
  • Temporary: Generally until final hearing or the parties reach an agreement
  • Permanent: Generally continues until the death of either spouse or the remarriage of the receiving spouse
  • Rehabilitative: Generally support for a specific purpose that is meant to fund a plan to allow the receiving spouse to become educated or otherwise qualified to work at a particular job
  • Lump sum payment: Generally a specific sum designated for support purposes
  • Bridge-the-Gap: Generally for short term marriages, to help a spouse transition to single status
What if alimony is not paid?
  • Failure to pay alimony may be enforceable by a contempt hearing
  • Willful failure to pay may result in a person being jailed
  • Ability to pay and other pertinent factors will be considered
  • See Florida Statutes and case law
What happens if the court orders an Income Deduction Order (IDO)?

This order requires the employer of the person paying alimony to deduct the support from the paying spouse’s paycheck and send it directly to the receiving spouse, or to a depository where distribution is made to the receiving spouse.


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