When couples get divorced, they go from relying on two incomes to one. For some in this position, it is nearly impossible to continue living with their personal salary. Due to this, Florida law will award alimony, or spousal maintenance, to one spouse until they can establish the means to support themselves.
Every state has different alimony laws. Florida specifically has five different types of alimony that can be awarded. In this blog, our Coconut Creek divorce lawyer is here to explain each of them.
The 5 Types of Alimony in Florida
The types of alimony in Florida include temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony.
- Temporary alimony – This is a temporary award of alimony during divorce proceedings, and it may also be referred to as alimony pendent lite. When a formal divorce decree is awarded, it is automatically terminated and replaced by another type of alimony.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony – This form of alimony is intended to help a spouse transition from being married to single by providing the funds necessary to pay any bills that may be associated with living a new life separate from their former partner after a divorce. It may not exceed for more than two years and cannot be modified.
- Rehabilitative alimony – Some spouses may not have the skills or education necessary to help them obtain employment. Therefore, this type of alimony provides them with an income to live on while pursuing educational programs or specific vocational skill training that will allow them to become self-sufficient. If circumstances change, either party can ask for a modification. Additionally, if the receiving spouse significantly deviates from the plan, the paying spouse can ask for a petition to modify alimony.
- Durational alimony – This type of alimony is typically used for short or moderate-term marriages. If the other alimony types do not fit the couple's circumstances, this is often the most appropriate choice of alimony. A set amount and predetermined time limit is established, which cannot exceed the length of the marriage. Either spouse can file to modify this type of alimony if there are significant changes in their circumstances. However, the modification will only apply to the award amount, but not the duration of time.
- Permanent alimony – This award is typically reserved for moderate and long-term marriages. In rare cases, it may be available for short-term marriages if extraordinary circumstances exist. For spouses who do not have the ability to achieve the standard of living from the marriage, permanent alimony can be awarded. This type of alimony is very subjective because the court will need to review the couple's life during their marriage in order to determine what would be a reasonable amount to award. In some cases, modification may be available if there is a significant change in circumstances or the receiving spouse enters into a new relationship where they are getting support from someone that is now living with them and is not related to them by blood or affinity.
Different types of alimony have specific requirements for them to end. When either the paying or receiving spouse passes away, bridge-the-gap, durational, and permanent alimony will end. If the receiving spouse ever remarries, alimony will end for all cases except rehabilitative alimony.
Alimony may either be paid on a monthly basis or awarded in a lump sum, or in some cases - a combination of the two. Courts also may consider non-monetary factors when making their decision on whether or not to award alimony.
Contact a Florida Alimony Lawyer Today
The Law Offices of Jonny Kousa, P.L. understands how complicated the divorce and alimony process can be, which is why we are available to meet for a consultation, where we will listen to you and present you with your legal options. Our Coconut Creek alimony attorney is always ready to do what is necessary to protect your best interests.
Call (954) 626-8071 to speak to a Coconut Creek divorce lawyer today.