Alimony FAQs

Florida Alimony

For questions and answers pertaining to Florida alimony, consider speaking to divorce lawyers in Boca Raton, FL for detailed information on how alimony is assigned, how much is owed, and what factors divorce courts use for evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Alimony

Will the court order me to pay alimony?

The court will consider several factors to determine if alimony is necessary in your unique case.

How does alimony and spousal support differ?

Spousal support is a temporary court-provision that is usually assigned during the actual process of divorce to assist a spouse with basic needs. Meanwhile, alimony is ordered as a condition of the actual divorce. These payments are provided to a spouse after a divorce for a specified period of time.

How is alimony defined?

Alimony is a court-ordered provision that requires a spouse to make ongoing payments to another spouse after divorce. The payments are designed to assist the spouse with the transitioning period after divorce, compensate the spouse for past contributions to the marriage (and to the spouse), and ensure that the spouse is able to enjoy a reasonable standard of life.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support is a form of financial assistance that is made payable to a spouse to assist with that spouse’s financial independence. As aforementioned, spousal support is typically assigned for a temporary basis or until a certain goal is achieved.

How do courts determine alimony?

In some cases, a spouse may request alimony for the court’s consideration. In other cases, a court of law may independently make the decision that alimony should be a necessary provision of the divorce. Courts will seek and evaluate a variety of factors to determine if alimony is necessary. Common factors of consideration include:

  • The reasoning for the divorce
  • Evidence of wrongful acts during the marriage, such as adultery
  • The spouse’s ability to pay alimony
  • The economic and health statuses of each spouse
  • The level, type, and nature of each spouse’s employment and education

Are there different types of alimony? If so, what are they?


  1. Temporary Alimony: similar to spousal support, temporary alimony is assigned to support a spouse’s needs during the divorce process.
  2. Permanent Alimony: assigned for the full duration of a spouse’s life.
  3. Rehabilitative Alimony: assigned for a designated period of time to assist a spouse while he/she receives training to develop the necessary skills to (re)enter the workforce.
  4. Reimbursement Alimony: usually ordered to a spouse who has made significant contributions to a person or to the marriage at-hand. Common examples may include full or partial payment of a spouse’s educational fees or investment funds into a spouse’s business.
  5. Lump-sum Alimony: depending on how the debts, assets and property of a marriage are distributed between spouses, a court may order a spouse to pay a lump-sum (or gross) payment to a spouse. This is a large, one time payment that is usually assigned to equalize or balance the terms of the divorce.

Who is responsible for determining how much alimony is owed?

If you and your spouse opt for a collaborative divorce approach, you can work toward alimony issues together and have your terms approved. Otherwise, traditional divorce proceedings require a judge to determine if alimony is necessary and the actual amount that is owed to a former spouse.

Who determines the type of alimony that I will be required to pay?

The judge in authority will determine the type of alimony that you will be required to pay.

Is it possible to modify alimony payments?

Yes. Your request for modification of alimony payments will have to be approved in a court of law. Instances such as a payee’s entrance into a new marriage or a significant change in a payer’s income or health may constitute the need for modification. If you wish to modify alimony payments, visit our divorce law firm in Boca Raton, FL to discuss the steps for doing so.

Am I forced to receive alimony if I do not need it?

Courts take alimony very seriously. If you do not wish to receive alimony, you can make this request known during divorce proceedings. If the court still decides that alimony is necessary after reviewing numerous factors of your case, then you will need to accept the court-ordered provision.

We recommend that you speak to our Boca Raton divorce lawyers to discuss how alimony works and how it may or may not work within your favor from a long-term, legal perspective.

What are the consequences for refusing to pay alimony?

Common penalties for failure to pay alimony may include license suspension, license revocation, direct deductions from your employment check(s), and additional fees. Most consequences for refusal to pay alimony are civil, but if you consistently refuse to pay alimony, it is possible to receive criminal sanctions.

Is it possible to receive jail time for failure to pay?

Jail time is typically assigned during extreme cases. If you consistently refuse to pay alimony, you are breaking a court-ordered provision. This means that your refusal to pay is an illegal action that may possibly equate to jail time.

Does tardiness on alimony payments equate to jail time?

If you are consistently tardy on alimony payments, there may be consequences. While jail time is unlikely, it is possible.

Will my alimony payments be accessible on public records?

Yes. Alimony becomes a part of Florida’s public records.


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