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Types of Florida Alimony or Spousal Support

Many people going through a divorce in Florida believe not only that alimony or spousal support is mandatory, but that only one type of alimony exists. In reality, Florida law establishes six different types of alimony that the court can award in divorce cases, with differing lengths and requirements attached to each.

Alimony requirements and designations are defined in Florida statutes, Chapter 61. It includes the following types of alimony:

Temporary Alimony

This type of alimony is awarded to a spouse to cover their expenses while the divorce is ongoing. It is meant to keep the household bills paid from the time that the divorce is filed until the end of the process.

Bridge the Gap Alimony

This type of alimony is awarded to a spouse in order to help facilitate the change from married to single. Like temporary alimony, this type of alimony is short term and cannot be collected for more than two years. It is designed to help with legitimate, identifiable short-term needs and cannot be modified in amount or duration.

Lump Sum Alimony

This type of alimony is awarded when periodic payments are impracticable or to “level the playing field” when disbursing marital property. One common example of lump sum alimony is when one spouse is awarded the marital business, and the other spouse is compensated with a lump sum payment as their payout. Like bridge the gap alimony, lump sum alimony is also not modifiable in amount.

Rehabilitative Alimony

This type of alimony is awarded to help one spouse establish the ability to self-support by acquiring schooling, redevelopment, or other training. In order to be awarded this type of alimony, a specific and defined rehabilitative plan must be submitted to the court.

Rehabilitative alimony is typically awarded in short or medium-term marriages. It is modifiable and capable of being terminated upon a showing of a change in circumstances, noncompliance, or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.

Durational Alimony

This is the most recent type of alimony allowed under Florida law. This type of alimony is awarded when a spouse does not meet the requirements of permanent alimony but still requires economic assistance for a set period of time following the divorce. The couple does not need to be married for a specific amount of time in order to be awarded durational alimony.

This type of alimony may be modified or terminated in amount upon the death or remarriage of the spouse, or upon a showing of significant changes in circumstances. However, the duration cannot be modified except under extreme circumstances, and it cannot be awarded longer than the length of the marriage.

Permanent Periodic Alimony

This type of alimony is awarded if the couple has been married for a significant period of time and the incomes of the spouses after the divorce will be substantially different. It is awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of a spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet them on their own.

It must be shown that no other form of alimony is appropriate, and it terminates upon the death or remarriage of the awarded spouse. The amount can be modified or terminated if there is a significant change in circumstances or proof that the awarded spouse is in a supportive relationship.

Call an Orlando Divorce Attorney Today

If you or someone that you know has questions regarding the types of alimony available or other questions regarding divorce law in Orlando or the greater central Florida area let the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

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