Though far less universal now than decades ago, alimony, especially rehabilitative alimony, may still be necessary for many divorcing spouses. If you are divorcing in Florida, you may require legal representation to fight for your right to receive the rehabilitative alimony you deserve or protect yourself from having to provide alimony unfairly. In either case, Orlando Family Team is the place to call. 

Our rehabilitative alimony attorneys are well-credentialed, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. More than that, we have an impressive track record of negotiating positive outcomes for our clients, whichever side of an argument they are on. Contact us now so we can listen carefully to the details of your situation and prepare a strategy that will provide you with justice and financial stability after your divorce is finalized.

What is rehabilitative alimony?

The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to ensure that even if the divorce comes after a short-or middle-term marriage, the spouse who put aside their education or career to support the marriage will now be “reimbursed.” 

The idea is that if one spouse worked to bring in a reasonable income for the couple and/or children while the other spouse went to medical school, received technical training, or worked toward a graduate degree, the spouse who sacrificed must now get their turn to move ahead and catch up. 

By the same token, if one spouse took full care of the home and provided the vast majority of childcare, it is now the other spouse’s turn to pay for services that will permit the sacrificing spouse to earn a degree or otherwise prepare to enter the workforce and become financially independent. To receive rehabilitative alimony, the spouse asking for support must present a plan explaining how the awarded alimony will be used to further their career. In many cases, amicable couples can prepare this plan together with the help of their attorneys.

How long does rehabilitative alimony last in Florida?

Rehabilitative alimony is never designed to be permanent. Though there is no state-mandated limit on its duration, it must be conceived with an end date.  

The Rehabilitative Alimony Plan Itself

Although the court will accept an oral presentation of the plan that postulates rehabilitative alimony, our attorneys recommend that the spouse or spouses, with our help, prepare a comprehensive written plan for the judge. The more specific the plan is, the better, so itemizing class or training schedules with precise beginning and end dates is a definite plus. 

The plan must also show the costs and expenses that accompany the course of study or training and make it clear whether the spouse receiving alimony will be able to work (part-time or full-time) while undergoing the rehabilitation process. The plan should be convincing about how the educational experience will prepare the receiving spouse for entry into an existing position in the workforce. 

Factors That Influence the Court in Determining Rehabilitative Alimony

Florida courts can exercise a fair amount of discretion when awarding rehabilitative alimony to divorcing spouses. In addition to the viability of the rehabilitation plan as described above, the court will consider:

  • Length of the marriage

As noted earlier, rehabilitative alimony is awarded when short-term or moderate-term marriages end in divorce. Courts will not generally award this type of alimony after a long-term marriage, most often deciding that another type of alimony, e.g. permanent alimony, is more appropriate.

  • Financial means

Another significant factor is the financial circumstances of both spouses. Florida courts will take a look at the individual’s separate assets as well as the marital assets, including income, property, expenses, and accumulated debt.

  • Personal sacrifices 

The court may also consider whether one spouse has gained financially at the expense of the other during the marriage, for example, if one spouse relinquished their job or let go of an educational opportunity to raise the couple’s children. Personal sacrifices may also include caring for an ill family member or maintaining the household with little or no help, e.g. cleaning, doing laundry, shopping for necessities, and preparing meals.

Rehabilitative Alimony May Be Modified Under Certain Circumstances

Like other aspects of the divorce agreement, rehabilitative alimony can be modified, but only if there is a substantial change in circumstances of one or both parties. Examples of such changes might include one spouse becoming incapacitated or losing a job through no fault of their own, or the other spouse receiving a sizable inheritance or other windfall. It’s important to be aware that any type of alimony in Florida, including rehabilitative alimony, can be immediately stopped if the receiving spouse cohabits with a partner or remarries.

Contact Our Accomplished Rehabilitative Alimony Attorneys Today

In the interests of a fair solution to questions of rehabilitative alimony, your best course of action is to make an appointment with Orlando Family Team to discuss your options.