Florida’s alimony laws have changed somewhat in recent years but the foundational decisions regarding how alimony is awarded remain basically the same. Alimony, or spousal support, is awarded to ensure that financial burdens resulting from a divorce are balanced fairly between the divorcing couple.
In all alimony cases, the court will take into consideration many factors beyond the the financial resources of both parties. The standard of living established during the marriage, length of the marriage, earning and employability capacities, educational levels, and the time necessary to acquire education or training are all considered by the court. There are four basic types of alimony in Florida that address specific needs and circumstances and the criteria for each that must be met before alimony will be awarded.
Bridge-the-Gap Alimony, as the name implies, is awarded to allow the receiving spouse time to adjust to being single after the divorce. This alimony is to support the receiving spouse’s legitimate, immediate and documented needs such as food and rent and is for no more than two years.
Rehabilitative Alimony is awarded to help a spouse with financial aid to take steps to become self-sufficient by acquiring additional education, training or skills needed to secure steady employment. The rehabilitative plan must show the court how the party plans to use the alimony to become self-sufficient.
Durational Alimony is awarded when permanent alimony is not appropriate and provides a spouse with financial assistance for a predefined period of time and cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
Permanent Alimony is awarded to a spouse who is unable to take care of his or her financial needs after a divorce based on the standard of living enjoyed prior to the end of the marriage. The alimony is paid until the receiving spouse remarries, dies or enters into a mutually supportive relationship and may be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances.
It is important to consult a Florida divorce lawyer knowledgeable about the state’s alimony laws if you plan to include it as part of your divorce. D’Lugo and DeFlora, P.A. can offer you valuable legal advice and answer all of your alimony questions. Call for a consultation at 407.870.5551 or visit us online at www.kissimmeefamilylaw.com.