What is Bridge the Gap Alimony?
Bridge the gap alimony is one of the six types of alimony order that can be entered under Florida law. It is meant to cover the specific short-term financial needs an individual faces immediately after his or her divorce. These needs can arise because the couple is working through the process of selling their home, the spouse seeking the support cannot work due to still being in school, or simply because the income disparity between the partners is extreme.
Bridge the Gap Alimony Helps the Recipient Transition from Marriage to the Single Life
Getting divorced is expensive. For an individual who worked part time or did not work at all during his or her marriage, a divorce can be economically devastating. Bridge the gap alimony exists to cover the expenses the lesser earning spouse faces during the transitional period between being married and being single. These expenses can include:
- Housing costs;
- Transportation costs;
- Food and utilities; and
- Any personal expenses deemed to be legitimate financial needs during this time.
This type of alimony is meant for individuals who do not qualify for other types of alimony, such as rehabilitative alimony, but nonetheless face economic hardship with their divorces.
How Long Does Bridge the Gap Alimony Last?
How long an individual receives bridge the gap alimony depends on his or her financial needs and circumstances. A bridge the gap alimony order cannot last longer than two years. During the order’s term, the recipient is expected to become self-reliant. This can – but does not necessarily have to – involve completing a college degree or vocational program in order to enter the workforce.
The amount and duration of a bridge the gap alimony order are determined at the court’s discretion. In order to receive bridge the gap alimony, an individual must provide documentation of his or her specific short-term financial needs to the court. Because bridge the gap alimony is temporary, it cannot be modified. It is the only type of alimony order that cannot be modified under Florida law – although rehabilitative and durational alimony are also technically temporary, they are often for far higher amounts and longer terms than bridge the gap alimony and thus can be modified when they create an undue burden on the paying spouse.
Like other types of alimony, a bridge the gap alimony order terminates if the recipient remarries or dies before the order’s term is complete.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer
If you are filing for divorce and you plan on seeking alimony, educate yourself about the different types of alimony order that are available and the type you are most likely to be awarded based on your circumstances. If you have any questions about alimony or other divorce topics, discuss them with an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer. Contact The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office.