What are the Different Types of Alimony in Florida?
The concept of alimony in Florida seems fairly straightforward. When a couple gets a divorce, one spouse may receive it, while a judge may require the other spouse to pay it. Many couples however, think that when alimony is ordered, one spouse simply writes a check to the other spouse every month. While this is often true, there is more to alimony in Florida than just that. The Florida statute that governs alimony identifies six different types. The final alimony order will depend on the nature of the case.
The courts will award temporary alimony when one spouse cannot support themselves financially during the divorce process. This type of alimony can provide for court costs and attorneys fees. It can also provide support for a spouse if they did not work during the marriage and now must find employment. Temporary alimony is only meant to provide financially during the proceedings. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony is over.
When one spouse is trying to better themselves so they can support themselves financially, a judge may award rehabilitative alimony. For example, if one spouse is attending school in order to gain meaningful employment, the court may order the other spouse to pay alimony. When requesting rehabilitative alimony, the requesting spouse must indicate the amount of time they require alimony, and the amount they will need to reach their goals.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded when one spouse will need time to get back on their feet after the divorce. This is a form of temporary alimony and can last no longer than two years.
Permanent alimony is something Florida’s legislators have been debating for years. The most recent attempt to eliminate it died in the House in April of 2019. This type of support is just as it sounds. While the spouse required to pay alimony can try to have the order modified in the future, until a court changes the terms, permanent alimony is paid indefinitely. When awarding permanent alimony, a judge must declare why they think the receiving spouse requires permanent support.
When a judge determines no other alimony options are suitable for a couple’s situation, they may order durational alimony. This type of alimony is dependent on the amount of time a couple was married. For example, if the couple was married for ten years, alimony payments cannot last longer than ten years.
Need Help with Alimony Issues? Call Our Florida Divorce Lawyers
If you’re considering divorce and are worried about paying alimony, we can help. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay for a free consultation in most cases.