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What Can Bridge the Gap Alimony Cover?

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In Florida, there are six different types of alimony that the court can order an individual to pay to his or her former partner. One, temporary alimony, covers the recipient’s expenses while his or her divorce is pending. The other five are paid after the divorce is finalized to help cover his or her expenses as a single person.

Bridge the gap alimony is one of these five types of post-divorce alimony. As its name implies, it is meant to “bridge the gap” between married life and single life. Although it can seem similar to other kinds of alimony designed to help a recipient launch his or her newly single lifestyle, bridge the gap alimony is meant to only cover specific expenses related to this transition.

Expenses Bridge the Gap Alimony Covers

Bridge the Gap alimony fills in the financial “holes” left in a recipient’s pocket when he or she divorces his or her higher-earning spouse. These are everyday living expenses like utility bills and groceries.

Other expenses Bridge the Gap alimony can be used to cover include:

  • Buying a car or otherwise securing transportation, like bus fare;
  • The cost of finding a new place to live, like a security deposit or broker’s fee for a new apartment; and
  • All other personal expenses deemed to be the recipient’s legitimate needs.

A Bridge the Gap alimony order cannot exceed two years because as its name implies, it is only meant to give the recipient a short-term safety net as he or she becomes self-sufficient. It is also the only type of alimony order that cannot be modified, though it does automatically terminate if the recipient remarries or dies before it reaches the end of its term.

How Bridge the Gap Alimony is Different from Rehabilitative Alimony

As you read about Bridge the Gap alimony, it can initially seem similar to rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is also a type of alimony that helps its recipient transition to life after divorce, but within a different realm. While bridge the gap alimony covers the necessities associated with transitioning to single life, like buying a car and finding a new place to live, rehabilitative alimony is meant to help the recipient prepare to become financially self-sufficient by completing a degree or vocational training.

To receive rehabilitative alimony, the prospective recipient must submit a vocational rehabilitation plan to the court complete with itemized expenses and a time frame for his or her self-sufficiency to have the plan approved.

Work with an Experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer

As you work through the divorce process, the issue of alimony might come up. Talk to your Orlando divorce lawyer to determine whether making an alimony order part of your divorce settlement is realistic for your case and if so, what you should expect from it. Contact the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today to schedule your initial legal consultation in our office.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.08.html

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