The topic of alimony is often a hot-button issue when Floridians divorce. Both sides want to see a fair outcome, and no two situations are the same. Florida law recognizes that different circumstances may call for different outcomes and thus recognizes four types of alimony: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational and permanent alimony.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to help the receiving spouse with legitimate identifiable short-term needs. The duration of bridge-the-gap alimony cannot exceed two years. If either spouse passes away or if the receiving spouse remarries, this will terminate the award. Bridge-the-gap alimony awards cannot be modified, either in amount or duration.
Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help the receiving party become self-supporting either by redeveloping previous skills or credentials or acquiring the education, training or experience necessary to be employed in a self-sufficient manner. Such an award will only be made if there is a specific and defined rehabilitative plan. Rehabilitative alimony awards can be modified. In addition, they can be terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstance, if the receiving party does not comply with the plan, or upon the completion of the plan.
Durational alimony is meant to provide the receiving spouse with financial assistance for a set period of time. A durational alimony award will terminate if either party passes away or if the receiving party remarries. The amount of a durational alimony award is modifiable or could be terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances. The length of time a durational alimony lasts is not modifiable unless there are exceptional circumstances, and it may not be greater than the length of the marriage.
Permanent alimony will be awarded if the receiving spouse does not have the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities following a divorce. In order to award permanent alimony, the court must determine that no other type of alimony is fair and reasonable given the circumstances. Permanent alimony awards are modifiable or can be terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances. In addition, a permanent alimony award will end if either spouse passes away or the receiving spouse remarries.
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Ultimately, this post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers can visit our website to learn more about alimony in Florida.