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Are You Eligible for Durational Alimony in Florida?


Durational alimony is a relatively new concept in Florida’s family law, which is why many divorced and separated couples underestimate its importance.

A Florida court has the authority to grant spousal support to the lower-earning spouses in the form of:

  • bridge-the-gap;
  • rehabilitative;
  • lump sum;
  • permanent periodic; and
  • durational alimony.

If you are wondering whether durational spousal support could be the right option in your particular situation, speak with an Orlando alimony attorney from the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee. However, there are factors to consider before discussing alimony.

What is Durational Alimony?

Each type of alimony differs in its purpose, needs, and eligibility requirements. Florida lawmakers created durational alimony in 2010. This relatively new type of spousal maintenance applies to short-term (7 years or less) and moderate-term (between 7 and 17 years) marriages.

Florida lawmakers introduced durational alimony to provide economic assistance to the lower-earning spouse. A court may award this type of alimony when permanent periodic maintenance is not appropriate.

The eligible spouse receives alimony for a set period of time following a divorce or separation. Durational maintenance can be effective for months or even years after the couple divorced or separated, though Florida law provides that it cannot exceed the length of the marriage.

What Factors Are Considered When Granting Durational Alimony?

While the length of the marriage is the most significant factor that will be considered by the court before granting spousal support, a variety of other factors also play a role.

First and foremost, the court must assess each spouse’s financial needs and earning capacity in order to understand whether spousal maintenance would be appropriate and which type of alimony would be the most suitable.

A Florida court takes into consideration the following factors:

  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage (the marriage must last less than 17 years for durational alimony to apply)
  • The age of both spouses
  • The spouses’ physical, mental, and emotional condition
  • Each spouse’s assets and financial resources
  • The spouses’ educational levels, work skills, and earning capabilities
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
  • Whether adultery played a role in the destruction of the marriage

Can a Florida Court Modify or Terminate Durational Alimony?

It is challenging – and, in some cases, even impossible – to modify or terminate durational spousal support payments. That is because this type of alimony is meant to provide economic assistance for a set period of time.

However, if there is a justifiable reason, and the spouse requesting modification or termination is represented by an experienced Orlando alimony attorney, then the request could be approved by the Florida court.

In Florida, there are three specific circumstances in which spouses are eligible to seek a modification or termination of spousal support:

  • A substantial change in circumstances
  • Remarriage
  • Death

Consult with a lawyer if you believe that you have legitimate grounds to modify or terminate alimony in Orlando or elsewhere in Florida to build and present a strong case to the court.

Whether you are seeking spousal support or being asked to pay alimony, discuss your case with an Orlando spousal support attorney from Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 407-521-7171 or fill out our contact form.


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