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Who Qualifies for Rehabilitative Alimony?

Let’s face it, alimony is a hot button topic for many going through divorce or about to go through the divorce process. The prospect of paying a former spouse money for an extended period of time after the marriage has ended does not sit well with many nor does the prospect of not receiving alimony payments from a former spouse after you have made so many contributions over the course of the marriage. Here, we are going to focus on one type of alimony in particular. Florida has six types of alimony, including: permanent, temporary, durational, lump sum, bridge-the-gap, and rehabilitative. Let’s focus on rehabilitative alimony and, in particular, who can qualify for rehabilitative alimony to get a better understanding of what may lie ahead for you in relation to divorce.

Who Qualifies for Rehabilitative Alimony?

Each type of alimony available in Florida, rehabilitative alimony included, was designed to serve a particular purpose. Many marriages involve one working spouse and one focusing on home management, and child rearing, among other things. In these situations, as in other situations, one spouse will sacrifice the pursuit of educational and career advancement opportunities in service to the marriage and the life they have built together with their spouse. Florida law recognizes the importance of such contributions and the disadvantage this spouse can be left with in the event of divorce. As such, rehabilitative alimony is designed to provide the recipient spouse with financial support as they work a plan to gain the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to become self-sufficient post-divorce.

Available for marriages both moderate and short-term in duration, rehabilitative alimony will provide the recipient spouse with support until they can handle expenses without alimony assistance. Rehabilitative alimony is paid to support a plan for the development or refreshing of the recipient spouse’s skills and career opportunities. Such a plan can involve a wide range of opportunities for the recipient spouse to pursue. They may need to go back to school, receive job specific training, work towards a certification, and more.

In order to be eligible to receive rehabilitative alimony, the spouse requesting this alimony is required to submit a detailed rehabilitative plan to the court. This plan is critical to the alimony award and will be heavily relied upon by the court in rendering a decision on the question of rehabilitative alimony. The more specific the plan is in its details, the better. The most successful plans will include specifics as to what the plan is for the future and what the requesting spouse will do to achieve those future plans. This means the requesting spouse should state whether they are seeking a degree and, if so, what degree. It may also mean that the requesting spouse specify any costs incident to their educational pursuits, such as seminar fees, tuition costs, and cost of books.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Do you have questions about alimony or the divorce process in general? The team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou has answers for you. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

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 also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.