What are the Different Types of Alimony in Florida?
Alimony is an important factor in many divorce cases today, even with so many cases involving two spouses that each earn an income. The law on alimony has also undergone many changes over the years, and it is largely misunderstood. One aspect of alimony that many people do not understand is that there is more than one type. Just because a person is awarded alimony does not mean they will receive it for the rest of their life. The forms of alimony awarded will depend entirely on the facts of the case, but the types of support that may be awarded are found below.
People sometimes find it difficult to transition from being a married spouse to being a single person, and some struggle financially. Bridge-the-gap support is intended to help make that transition easier. This type of alimony is generally awarded when one party has a valid but temporary need they cannot fulfill without their spouse’s support. Bridge-the-gap support cannot last longer for two years, but the amount cannot be changed during that time.
Durational alimony is one of the most inconsistent types of alimony in Florida. It is often awarded in place of permanent alimony when it otherwise would not have been suitable. It is possible to modify the durational alimony, but doing so requires a significant, unanticipated change of circumstances. This type of alimony can be awarded in either short-term or long-term marriages. However, the length of time alimony is paid cannot be longer than the length of the marriage.
Rehabilitative alimony is a clearly defined form of support that is meant to help one spouse learn how to support themselves. The spouse asking for rehabilitative alimony must provide the court with a solid argument for this support, as well as a rehabilitative plan that will help them get back on their feet. Rehabilitative plans can include furthering the requesting spouse’s education, or developing skills to reenter the workforce. If the recipient does not comply with the rehabilitative plan, it is a reason to modify this type of alimony.
Permanent alimony is not easily granted in the Florida family courts. This type of support is generally reserved for spouses that were in long marriages, greater than 17 years, and that did not have the opportunity to further their education or career. For example, a couple may get divorced after 40 years of marriage in which one spouse stayed home to take care of the children and the household. In this case, a Judge may award permanent alimony. Permanent support is also sometimes appropriate when one spouse has a specific medical need or special need they cannot support on their own.
Our Divorce Lawyer in Orlando Can Advise on the Alimony in Your Case
If you are about to get a divorce and believe alimony may be an issue, our Orlando family lawyer at O’Mara Law Group can provide the legal advice you need. Our seasoned attorneys can help you receive the fair alimony settlement you deserve, or defend against unfair claims for it. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.