In Florida alimony awards typically depend on the length of marriage and the need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. In long-term marriages, there is a presumption that permanent alimony will be awarded. So what happens if the higher-earning spouse is unemployed during a divorce in a long-term marriage?
The judge has at least 3 options when the higher-earning spouse in a long-term marriage is unemployed at the time of a Florida divorce.
- Award nominal alimony and calculate it when the payor is employed
- Award a smaller amount if the payor still has some ability to pay
- Award a lesser amount with the instruction to recalculate the amount when payor is re-employed
If the payor has not other assets or income, it is likely that the judge would award a nominal amount such as $1 per year. This leaves open your ability to modify the amount when there is more ability to pay. If there are assets or other income, the judge can award a smaller amount now and either order that the amount be recalculated upon re-employment or not. If the order doesn't call for automatic recalculation upon employment, it is up to the receiving spouse to return to court to ask for recalculation of nominal alimony in Florida.
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