In a divorce, one of the most hotly contested issues can be alimony. Alimony is a court-ordered payment to be made by one spouse to the other during a divorce, after a divorce, or both. Either spouse is able to request support during divorce proceedings and the request will be evaluated by the court to determine whether the requesting spouse needs the financial assistance and whether the other spouse has the ability to pay. Should there be a need and an ability to pay, the court will proceed with evaluating a number of other factors, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, among other things. The type, amount, and duration of an alimony award will depend on such factors.
Types of Alimony Awarded in Florida
In Florida, there are five types of alimony. One type is temporary alimony and it may be available to a spouse in need of financial support during divorce proceedings. It is intended to assist the lower-earning spouse during the divorce process so that they can remain financially stable. Temporary support comes to an end when a divorce is finalized.
Another type of alimony awarded in Florida is bridge-the-gap alimony. Florida is in the minority of states that offers bridge-the-gap alimony. This type of alimony is intended to help a spouse transition from being married to being single. It can be a difficult financial transition and bridge-the-gap is supposed to help a spouse make this transition without being placed in financial hardship. There are, however, restrictions on this type of alimony. Its duration cannot exceed two years. It will terminate sooner if the paying spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.
There is also rehabilitative alimony. The intent behind rehabilitative alimony is to assist one spouse in becoming self-supporting after a divorce. In order to do so, some spouses require both time and financial assistance in order to do things such as acquire education or training, as well as work experience and the redevelopment of previously honed skills. Rehabilitative alimony is possibly one of the most commonly awarded alimony types in Florida. Prior to awarding rehabilitative alimony, the spouses are required to create a specific rehabilitative plan for the court to review.
Similar to rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony is also awarded by the court for a limited duration. There is no rehabilitative plan necessary, however. It is awarded in situations where one spouse needs some assistance after divorce, but that spouse is not qualified to receive permanent alimony. The duration of durational alimony will not last longer than the length of the marriage itself.
Lastly, there is permanent alimony. The awarding of permanent alimony is rare, but it does happen. It is reserved for cases in which the spouses need financial assistance and will be unable to become self-supporting at any future time. This type of situation can arise when one spouse is disabled or of advanced age.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
Do you have concerns about alimony? Talk to the team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Contact us today.