Types of Alimony in Florida
Understanding the Different Types of Alimony in Florida
Divorce can take an emotional and financial toll on anyone. One of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process is settling the matter of alimony. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a form of financial assistance that one spouse pays to the other after separation or divorce.
In Florida, the law recognizes several types of alimony depending on the specific circumstances that led to the divorce, which are outlined in Florida Statute § 61.08. In this post, we will explore the different types of alimony in Florida to help you understand which may be applicable in your case.
Temporary alimony is awarded to a spouse during the divorce process and before the final divorce judgment is issued. This type of alimony is intended to provide support to a lower-earning spouse while the divorce is pending, and until the final divorce judgment is issued. The duration and amount of the temporary alimony will depend on the individual circumstances of the case.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is intended to help a spouse transition from being married to being single, and to provide support for a specific period of time. For this type of alimony to be granted, a person must have identifiable short-term needs, such as help paying utility bills or the mortgage until the sale of separate assets occurs, additional support while waiting to obtain full-time employment, etc.
This type of alimony is typically awarded for a short term in Florida– up to two years. Unlike other types of alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified in amount or duration once it is awarded.
Durational alimony is awarded for a set period of time, and it cannot exceed the length of the marriage. For instance, if you were married for 12 years, you can only receive durational alimony for 12 years.
This type of alimony is typically awarded in cases where there is no need for permanent alimony but a spouse requires financial assistance for a limited time. Durational spousal support can be modified or terminated if either party experiences a substantial change in circumstances; however, it is important to note that the length of the award cannot be modified unless special circumstances are proven.
Rehabilitative alimony is intended to help a lower-earning spouse establish themselves financially and become self-sufficient following their divorce. This type of alimony is awarded for a specific period of time, during which the recipient spouse is expected to acquire the education or job training necessary to be able to support themselves.
In most cases, the court will require the potential recipient spouse to submit a rehabilitative plan with specific steps concerning how they will work to be self-sufficient. Rehabilitative alimony can be modified if there are changes in circumstances that affect the recipient spouse's ability to become self-sufficient.
Permanent alimony is generally awarded in long-term marriages where one spouse is financially dependent on the other. Moderate- or short-term marriages rarely lead to the awarding of permanent spousal maintenance. For an award of permanent alimony to be granted for a:
- moderate-term marriage, the requesting party must submit evidence for the court to consider.
- short-term marriage, written findings about special circumstances must be documented.
This type of alimony may be awarded for an indefinite period of time, until the death of either spouse or until the supported spouse remarries. Permanent alimony can be modified if there are significant changes in circumstances.
Consult with Our Attorney
At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, we can help clients smoothly navigate the divorce process and handle divorce-related matters, including spousal support. Our attorney can discuss your financial concerns with you and help you determine whether you may be able to receive or required to pay alimony. We can also discuss what type of alimony you may be eligible for as well as the factors that can influence the court’s decision concerning alimony payments.
Get started on your case today by calling (727) 312-1112.