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The four types of alimony in Florida

On Behalf of | May 3, 2021 | Divorce |

It can take a lot of time and hard work to become a doctor, lawyer or small business owner. However, with effort and the proper support these can be very lucrative endeavors. Oftentimes, if a couple in the Fort Myers area is married one spouse will stay at home to support the other spouse in their career, with the anticipation that the high-paying job will benefit them both.

So, when a stay-at-home parent’s marriage is on the rocks and divorce is on the horizon, they may be very concerned about how they will support themselves financially. For this reason, some will choose to pursue alimony. In Florida there are four types of alimony that one might qualify for: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational and permanent.

Bridge-the-gap alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to help a spouse who is transitioning from being married to being single. It is awarded when the receiving spouse has identifiable short-term needs. How long the alimony will last cannot be more than two years. Bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified either in amount or duration. If either party passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries, bridge-the-gap alimony will end.

Rehabilitative alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help the receiving spouse become capable of self-support. It can be used to help the receiving spouse redevelop previous job skills or credentials. It can also be used to help the receiving spouse obtain the degree, training or work experience needed to become employable. In order to award rehabilitative alimony, it is necessary to include in the award a specific and defined rehabilitative plan. Rehabilitative alimony is modifiable and is terminable if there is a substantial change in circumstances, if the receiving spouse is not complying with the plan or once the plan has been completed.

Durational alimony

Durational alimony may be an option if an award of permanent alimony would not be appropriate. The goal of durational alimony is to give the receiving spouse with financial assistance for either a defined period of time or if there is no ongoing need for permanent payments. The amount awarded can be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances. However, the length of the durational alimony award is only modifiable if there are exceptional circumstances and cannot exceed the length of time the parties were married. Durational alimony payments will cease if either spouse passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries.

Permanent alimony

Permanent alimony is meant to provide for the receiving spouse’s life needs as they enjoyed them while they were married. Permanent alimony is appropriate if the receiving party does not have the financial ability to meet their life needs after the divorce. In the award of permanent alimony, there must be a finding that no other type of alimony would be fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Permanent alimony will cease if either spouse passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries. Permanent alimony awards are modifiable or terminable if there is a substantial change in circumstances or a supportive relationship exists.

Learn more about alimony in Florida

Ultimately this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who are interested in learning more about alimony in Florida may find our firm’s website on spousal support to be a useful source of information.


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