Divorce can become contentious, regardless of the circumstances. Though, other than child custody, one of the most contentious disputes revolve around alimony. Indeed, our blog even recently discussed permanent alimony. However, readers were likely left wonder what other types of alimony are available in Florida.
Determining the length of alimony
Before labeling the types of alimony, it is important to understand how court determine alimony awards. First, for marriages of less than 7 years, there is a rebuttable presumption that no or only short-term alimony is appropriate. As the length of marriage increases, i.e., greater than 7 years, but less than 17 years, and 17 years or greater, this presumption becomes less of a hurdle.
The first type of alimony is gap or “bridge-the-gap” alimony. This is awarded to help a spouse transition to single life, and it cannot exceed 2 years. Gap alimony awards cannot be modified, but it will terminate if either spouse dies or the receiving spouse remarries.
This type of alimony is awarded to help a spouse become self-supporting. This is done by using the alimony to redevelop skills or credentials, or to acquire new skills or credentials through some kind of education or training program. Though, to qualify for this type of alimony, the receiving spouse must have a defined rehabilitative plan. But, even if awarded, these types of alimony awards can be terminated or modified if here is noncompliance or a substantial change in circumstances.
When permanent periodic alimony is not appropriate, durational alimony may still be awarded. This type provides economic assistance for a set time. Durational alimony cannot be awarded for longer than the marriage itself lasted, terminates if either party dies, if the receiving party remarries and it can be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Though, the length of time one receives durational alimony can only be modified under exceptional circumstances.
For those looking to divorce or in the divorce process, the Law Offices of Mark Abzug, P.A., provides quality Family Law and Divorce services in Coral Springs and throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. We also offer free initial consultations.