Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a legal obligation for one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse following a divorce or separation. In the state of Florida, there are various types of alimony that may be awarded depending on the unique circumstances of the couple. In this blog post, we will explore the different alimony types in Florida to help you understand the options available.
1. Bridge-the-Gap Alimony:
Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to help the receiving spouse transition from being married to being single by assisting with short-term financial needs. It is typically awarded for a maximum of two years and cannot be modified once it is decided. This type of alimony helps cover expenses such as rent, utilities, and other immediate needs as the recipient spouse adjusts to their new financial situation.
2. Rehabilitative Alimony:
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to the receiving spouse for the purpose of acquiring the education or skills needed to become self-supporting. This type of alimony is intended to provide financial assistance while the recipient spouse undergoes job training, further education, or seeks employment. The court will typically establish a specific plan with goals and milestones that must be met for the alimony to continue.
3. Durational Alimony:
Durational alimony is awarded for a specific period of time and is often used when the other forms of alimony do not apply. It is typically awarded in cases where a long-term marriage has ended, and the recipient spouse needs financial assistance for a set duration. The duration of durational alimony should not exceed the length of the marriage.
4. Permanent Alimony:
Permanent alimony is less common and is typically awarded in cases where the recipient spouse is unable to become self-supporting due to age, disability, or other factors. It is often awarded in long-term marriages where one spouse has been financially dependent on the other for a significant period. Unlike the other types of alimony, permanent alimony is subject to modification or termination if there are significant changes in circumstances, such as the recipient spouse getting remarried or a substantial increase in their income.
5. Temporary Alimony:
Temporary alimony, also known as pendente lite alimony, is awarded during the divorce process to provide temporary financial support until a final alimony agreement or court order is established. It is designed to maintain the financial status quo of both spouses during the divorce proceedings. Once a permanent alimony order is established, the temporary alimony will be superseded and replaced.
It is important to note that the court considers several factors when deciding whether to award alimony and the type and amount to be awarded. These factors may include the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the financial resources and earning capacity of each spouse, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage.
If you are going through a divorce in Florida, understanding the different types of alimony is essential. Bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, permanent, and temporary alimony are the main types that the court may consider. Each type serves a specific purpose and is awarded based on factors such as the length of the marriage, the needs of the recipient spouse, and the ability of the paying spouse to provide support. It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to understand which type of alimony may be applicable in your situation and to ensure your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.