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A close look at alimony payments in Florida

While a divorce involves many complicated emotional matters, it also comes down to important financial considerations. As an equitable distribution state, Florida law calls for a fair distribution of assets between former partners.

This gives individuals an opportunity in court to fairly disclose assets and avoid exorbitant alimony judgments or property awards.

A summary of Florida alimony laws

According to the Maritallaws website, the courts could order either party of a divorce agreement to make alimony payments. The amount determined depends on many factors and the courts have significant discretion when making judgments. The factors considered for support payments include the following:

  • The economic circumstances of the parties
  • The standard of living of each party
  • Marital fault
  • Custodial status of dependent children

In the case of marital fault, the court could order either higher or lower alimony payments based upon such matters as adultery, drug addiction and domestic violence. A punitive alimony judgment could result in higher than calculated payments to the injured party.

A strategy for fair alimony

Individuals who must pay alimony should make sure they take all allowed deductions from their combined gross income. This includes an accurate subtraction of all payments for federal, state and local taxes. Mandatory union dues and retirement benefits payments as well as certain health insurance premiums could also reduce the adjusted gross income.

For those who work as independent contractors, individuals should take all appropriate deductions for work expenses. These include such expenses as professional fees, supplies, travel and home office deductions. Failure to report all available extenuating circumstances could result in a higher than necessary alimony payment or a greater than expected award of property to a former spouse.