What to Know About Florida Alimony

Of all the contentious issues that can arise over the course of a divorce, alimony may top them all. Something about the prospect of making payments to a former spouse gets emotions and feelings, in general, to run very high. Part of managing the stress and everything else that comes with the alimony issues is to get information on the topic itself. Knowing what you are getting into regarding alimony can help ease some of the anxiety you may be feeling. Here, we will review some of what you should know about alimony determinations in Florida.

What to Know About Florida Alimony

Florida law provides for several types of alimony. There are five, to be more precise. Temporary spousal support can be requested by a spouse and may be granted if the requesting spouse can demonstrate a need for the support and the other spouse has the ability to pay such support. Temporary alimony is meant to assist the lower-earning spouse in remaining financially afloat and stable during what can be a prolonged divorce process. This type of support ends upon the finalization of the divorce.

There is also bridge-the-gap alimony which is meant to assist the recipient spouse to meet short-term needs during the transition from being married to being single. This type of alimony is rare in other jurisdictions. In fact, Florida is among the few states to offer it. Bridge-the-gap alimony can only run two years at most. It will end if the paying spouse passes away or the recipient spouse remarries.

Then, there is durational alimony. Durational alimony is alimony ordered by the court for a set period of time. Should one spouse need financial assistance for a period of time following the finalization of the divorce, but does not qualify for permanent alimony, a court may award durational alimony. Durational alimony is much like another type of alimony which is rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is also awarded for only a limited amount of time. However, a rehabilitative plan must be submitted for this type of alimony as it is intended to assist the recipient spouse in gaining advancement in education, experience, or skills that will help them to become financially self-supporting. Rehabilitative alimony is the most commonly awarded alimony type in Florida.

Perhaps the rarest alimony award type is that of permanent alimony. Permanent alimony lasts for the rest of the recipient spouse’s life or until an event like remarriage of the recipient spouse occurs. This type of alimony is usually awarded to those spouses who are in financial need, but unable to become financially self-supporting. This may be the case because the spouse is disabled or of advanced age.

Alimony is only awarded by Florida courts after careful consideration of relevant factors. These are factors that go to the heart of the financial well-being of both spouses. The court will consider things such as the length of the marriage and the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. Furthermore, the age and health of each spouse will be considered as will their respective financial resources.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Alimony awards are fact-specific determinations that will largely vary depending on the unique circumstances of your divorce case. For further assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to the knowledgeable team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.