Understanding alimony: Age, health and alimony awards

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When determining whether an alimony isappropriate and, if so, the exact form it should take in terms of amount and duration, the court has one primary goal : to ensure that both parties in a marriage will be able to support themselves after their union is dissolved. As such, every determining factor that this blog has referenced, including individually held assets and education level, is reviewed as a means to gauge how well each party will manage on their own.

As this blog has referenced in previous articles, one of the factors that a court considers when reviewing an alimony claim in a divorce settlement is the age as well as the physical and emotional health of both parties involved. These aspectsare assessed in terms of how they influence a person’s ability to earn an income and care for themselves. Though no element of Florida alimony is set in stone, most Miami family lawyers can identify certain trends in these rulings.

The Florida Bar Journal addressed the impact of age and health in permanent alimony awards for “gray area” divorces that were deemed on the cusp of medium-term and long-term unions.

“When determining whether permanent alimony is appropriate in a gray area marriage, a spouse with health problems may [be eligible for] permanent alimony if those health problems impact his or her ability to be self supporting, and the health problems arose during the marriage,” the Florida Bar Journal states.

Meanwhile, though the journal notes that it found no record of age ultimately “tipping the scales” in a settlement as of 2008, it can contribute to a greater argument, and is most commonly put forward as a determining factor in two forms – “in a denial of permanent alimony when a spouse is young or in an award of permanent alimony when a spouse is older.”

But, though there may be recurring trends in Florida divorce settlements, every individual case is different. For the guidance you need to put forth your best case for or against an alimony award, consult an experienced Miami divorce lawyer like Scott A. Ferris, Esq.