Calculating Alimony in Florida

August 1, 2020

Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, Florida may require you to make payments to your former spouse after the divorce is final. This practice developed when it was common for one spouse to take time away from work to stay home and raise the children or run the household, and is meant to help make up for the years they spent out of the workforce. As you likely already know, gaps in your resume can make it difficult to get hired, let alone make enough to support your children and yourself on a reduced income. Alimony is meant to make up for that difference.
Read on to learn about the process of calculating Florida alimony.

The five types of alimony

As always, you can voluntarily provide alimony, or at least agree on an amount, time and duration for the payments during your divorce proceedings. However, if you can’t agree on alimony payments—or on whether the spouse should get any at all—a judge will step in and make the decision for you.
There are five basic types of alimony:

  • Temporary: This type of alimony helps the lower- or no-income spouse survive during the divorce proceedings, helping them stay financially stable. You must demonstrate that you have a need and the other spouse has the ability to pay.
  • Bridge-the-gap: Sometimes a spouse just needs a helping hand to transition from being married to being single, and this version of alimony is designed to do that. It’s a short-term obligation (no more than two years), and if the supporting spouse dies or the receiving spouse gets remarried, the support ends.
  • Rehabilitative: This kind of alimony is designed to help the lower-income spouse reenter the workforce and get them into a position to be financially stable. The couple will create a rehabilitation plan for the court to review, which can include plans for one spouse to go to school, get job training or simply to receive support while they look for a full-time job. This is the most common type of alimony.
  • Durational: This type of support is like rehabilitative support, but there’s no need for a plan, and the support duration can’t exceed that of the marriage. This means that if you were married for five years, you can only receive support for five years.
  • Permanent: Although rare, permanent alimony can be awarded to a spouse. This usually happens in cases where the supported spouse cannot be self-sufficient, whether they have a disability, are elderly or are caring for a child with special needs or have other extraordinary circumstances. The court takes into account how long the couple has been married to help determine whether permanent alimony is appropriate.

Generally, there is no set formula for determining how and whether alimony will be awarded to one spouse, which is why working with a good lawyer can be such a great help. Call the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler to discuss Florida alimony calculation or schedule a consultation today. We look forward to discuss the particulars of your situation.

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