How Long Do You Have To Pay Spousal Support (Alimony) In Florida?
If you are getting divorced or have already finalized your divorce in Florida, you might wonder, “How long do alimony payments last in Florida?” The question is not uncommon, especially among divorced individuals who were ordered to pay spousal support.
Since each case is unique, the answer depends on the circumstances of your divorce. Florida courts consider a wide range of factors before deciding on the amount and length of alimony. You may want to consult with an Orlando spousal support lawyer to find out how long you will have to pay alimony in your specific case.
When Do Florida Courts Award Spousal Support?
Florida courts commonly award spousal support when one spouse makes significantly more money than the other spouse. Alimony payments are necessary to help the lower-earning or unemployed spouse meet their financial needs after a divorce.
Aside from the income of both spouses, courts also consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to award spousal support:
- The duration of the marriage
- The debts and assets of each spouse
- The education level of both spouses
- The earning capacity and employability of each spouse
- Whether adultery contributed to the divorce
These and other factors are considered by Florida courts when determining the amount and duration of alimony payments. Seek the legal counsel of an experienced attorney to find out whether or not a court will award spousal support in your unique case.
Types of Spousal Support (Alimony) in Florida
Florida courts recognize four types of alimony:
- Permanent alimony. As its name implies, permanent spousal support is paid for an indefinite amount of time. Payments stop upon the death of either spouse or when the recipient spouse remarries.
- Durational alimony. This type of alimony lasts a specified amount of time. The court will determine the appropriate length of time for durational alimony.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony. This type of spousal support is intended to help the lower-earning spouse to adapt to a new, post-divorce lifestyle. Bridge-the-gap alimony payments cannot last for longer than two years.
- Rehabilitative. This type of alimony, which comes with a rehabilitation plan, is paid until the receiving spouse is able to regain their earning potential.
Spousal support can be awarded as either a lump-sum payment, in which the entire alimony obligation is paid at once, or in the form of monthly payments.
How Long Will You Have to Pay Alimony in Your Case?
Since each divorce is unique, Florida courts look into a number of factors when determining the appropriate amount and duration of spousal support. One of the most significant factors is the length of the marriage. As a rule of thumb, alimony payments do not last longer than the duration of the marriage.
- Short-term marriages, which last less than seven years, usually qualify for bridge-the-gap and durational alimony.
- Moderate-term marriages, which last between seven and 17 years, may qualify for durational or rehabilitative alimony. In limited cases, a court may also award permanent alimony.
- Long-term marriages (marriages that last more than 17 years) usually qualify for permanent alimony.
It is advisable to speak with a skilled attorney to find out how long you will have to pay alimony in your particular case. Let our attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., consider all the factors of your divorce case to estimate the length and amount of spousal support in your case. Call 407-521-7171 today.