Does Florida Have Permanent Alimony?

As of July 1, 2023 Florida no longer awards permanent alimony, effectively eliminating it as an option for divorces filed after that date. While this substantial shift in how the state handled spousal support affects new divorces, permanent alimony orders that were finalized before July 1, 2023, are still in effect.

What Was Permanent Alimony in Florida?

Permanent alimony in Florida was a type of spousal support designed to provide continuous financial assistance to an ex-spouse until death or otherwise ordered by the court.

This form of alimony was typically awarded in cases involving long-term marriages, where one spouse significantly relied on the other for financial support. The recipient spouse often didn’t possess the means to become self-sufficient due to having spent a considerable portion of the marriage supporting the household, raising children, or forgoing career opportunities.

What Types of Alimony Are Now Available?

With the elimination of permanent alimony, the options for spousal support are now limited to temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and lump sum alimony.

We’ll explain each of these in more detail below.

Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony is financial assistance awarded on a temporary basis, usually lasting through the divorce process and ending once a divorce is finalized. Importantly, the provisions of a temporary alimony order won’t necessarily reflect the provisions of any alimony ordered in the settlement.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

Although not commonly ordered by courts in the past, bridge-the-gap alimony is an option courts have to order temporary post-divorce alimony. This type of spousal support can only last up to two years, and it’s intended to help the financially disadvantaged spouse maintain their quality of life while transitioning from being married to unmarried.

Durational Alimony

Durational alimony exists to provide financial support to an ex-spouse for a specified amount of time, although this period can’t exceed the duration of the marriage. More specifically, durational alimony can’t exceed 50% of the duration of a short-term marriage (up to 10 years), 60% of a moderate-term marriage (10-20 years), or 75% of a long-term marriage (20+ years).

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is uncommon, but this type of spousal support is focused on helping the receiving spouse to become self-sufficient. Ordered for a period no longer than five years, rehabilitative alimony provides financial support to an ex-spouse as long as they seek education, job training, or career advancement during this period.

Do You Need Help with Alimony?

Navigating the complexities of alimony during a divorce can be overwhelming, but you don't have to face it alone. At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, we offer comprehensive legal support to help you reach a fair alimony agreement that protects your rights and interests.

Our experienced attorney understands the intricacies of Florida’s alimony laws and is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process. Whether you are seeking alimony or are required to pay it, we can provide the strategic advice and representation you need to reach an equitable outcome.

Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you.


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