What Type of Alimony is Right for Your Divorce?
The payment of alimony during and after a divorce is a common practice for spouses in Florida. The purpose of alimony, also known as spousal support, is to help maintain the lifestyle for the lesser-earning spouse and to help as she becomes financially independent. Florida law has five different types of alimony payments available for spouses going through a divorce, and the court may award one or more types throughout the course of the divorce. Knowing more about each type can help you and your spouse determine which might be best for your case as you go through this difficult time.
Temporary alimony is spousal support paid by the wealthier spouse to the lesser-earning spouse during the divorce proceedings. This type of alimony is awarded when one spouse needs help financially during the divorce and typically ends when the divorce is finalized.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is short term spousal support payments made after the divorce is finalized and lasts no longer than two years. The purpose of this type of alimony is to help the poorer spouse meet specific legitimate and identifiable short term needs. Common examples of short term needs include living expenses while solidifying a housing situation or completing vocational training.
Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help the lesser-earning spouse pay for education or training necessary to succeed in the workforce. In order to receive rehabilitative alimony, the spouse requesting the payments must submit a plan to the court with the details of the education, the amount of money requested, and a timeline for completing the program. There is no set term on how long rehabilitative alimony may be paid.
Durational alimony is ordered by the court if other types of alimony are not enough to meet the needs of the recipient spouse. Under Florida law, durational alimony cannot last longer than the term of the marriage. For example, if you were married for twenty years, durational alimony cannot be paid longer than twenty years after the divorce is finalized. Durational alimony is often paid in conjunction with another type of alimony to meet the spouse’s needs.
If a spouse’s needs are permanent, the judge in the divorce case may award permanent alimony to that spouse. This only happens in rare occasions when the spouse has a permanent medical issue or is too old to reenter the workforce. The judge is required by law to put in writing why another form or combination of forms of alimony would not be fair and reasonable given the circumstances. The spouse receiving permanent alimony must be able to prove that they lack the ability to become financially self-sustaining and cannot sustain the standard of living accustomed to during the marriage.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney Today
If you wish to learn more about your alimony options for a Florida divorce, call or contact the office of Steve W. Marsee in Orlando today to schedule a free consultation of your case.