When a couple in Florida divorces, one spouse may be required to pay alimony to the other spouse. While not all spouses will qualify for alimony, for those who do qualify there are four types of alimony that may be awarded under Florida law: bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony or permanent alimony.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to help a spouse transition financially from being married to being single. It is meant to assist spouses who have legitimate, identifiable short-term needs. Bridge-the-gap alimony awards cannot last for more than two years. If either spouse passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries, this will terminate an award of bridge-the-gap alimony. The amount or duration of a bridge-the-gap alimony award cannot be modified in its amount or duration.
Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help the receiving spouse become financially self-sufficient through the redevelopment of previous work skills or work credentials or through the obtainment of education or work experience necessary to develop their work skills or work credentials. In order to be awarded rehabilitative alimony, the receiving spouse must have a specific and defined plan for rehabilitation. Awards of rehabilitative alimony are modifiable. They can also be terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances, if the receiving spouse is not following the rehabilitative plan or once the rehabilitative plan is complete.
Durational alimony may be awarded if an award of permanent alimony would not be appropriate. Durational alimony is meant to assist the receiving spouse financially for a set time period. An award of durational alimony will be terminated of either spouse passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries. The amount of a durational alimony award can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. The length of a durational alimony award is only modifiable if there are exceptional circumstances and cannot last longer than the length of the marriage.
Permanent alimony is award to provide the receiving party with the lifestyle they enjoyed while married if the receiving part lacks the financial ability to support themselves financially. An award of permanent alimony will only be made if there is a finding that no other type of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. An award of permanent alimony will be terminated if either spouse passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries. An award of permanent alimony is modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances of if a supportive relationship exists.
Learn more about alimony in Florida
Ultimately, this post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who have further questions about divorce in Florida are encouraged to visit our firm’s website for further information.