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The Different Types of Alimony in Florida

After several attempts – and a year of meetings between lawyers, legislators and others – by Florida’s legislature was unable to pass a proposed alimony reform bill earlier this year. The alimony bill died on the Senate floor when it refused to pass the House’s version of the law, which included establishing a formula for the amount of alimony based on the length of the marriage and the amount of the spouses’ income. Also included was a provision that would establish a presumption of 50-50 child sharing between the spouses.

As it stands, Florida’s alimony law remains. If you or someone you know is considering or seeking a divorce from your spouse, contact an experienced Orlando family law attorney right away to understand your rights and obligations regarding alimony under the law.

Alimony Basics

Just like the distribution of property in a Florida divorce, alimony is often a concern for soon-to-be spouses seeking a separation. Also known as “maintenance” or “spousal support,” alimony was traditionally only awarded to the wife. The purpose of alimony is to assist an otherwise dependent spouse to become financially self-sufficient. Under current Florida law, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, alimony may be awarded to either spouse.

The awarding of alimony is fact-specific, however, below is general information about alimony.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – this is provided to help a spouse ease into single life from married life; this is a short-term form of alimony not to exceed two years that is not modifiable in amount or duration once awarded.

Rehabilitative Alimony – this may be provided to help a needy spouse become self-sufficient through education or job training; in order to be awarded, the receiving spouse must provide the court with a specific and defined plan, and this alimony may be modified by a court based on a substantial change in circumstances, noncompliance with the plan, or upon its completion.

Durational Alimony – as its name suggests, this economic assistance is provided to a spouse for a set period of time and is available for marriages that lasted 0 to 17 years; this alimony can be modified by a court, but under exceptional circumstances and cannot exceed the length of the marriage.

Permanent Alimony – courts award this alimony when a needy spouse lacks the ability to meet his or her basic needs after a divorce; the standards for awarding this depends on the length of the marriage, and this can be modified by a court based on a substantial change in circumstances or when a the receiving spouse enters into a supportive relationship.

Orlando Family Law Attorney

If you or someone you know has questions relating to alimony – or any other family law issue – contact the experienced legal professionals at Steve W. Marsee, P.A. With years of experience servicing families in Central Florida, Mr. Marsee can assist you in any family law related questions you may have. Call 407-521-7171 to schedule your initial consultation.

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