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Mark Abzug

Temporary versus permanent alimony

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2023 | Alimony

Going through a divorce can drown you in many worries, including how you will be able to maintain your standard of living and support yourself after the spousal relationship ends. Fortunately, states extend support to spouses through support awards in divorce proceedings. Depending on the length of the marriage, the court may award you with temporary or permanent alimony.

Just until the divorce is final: temporary spousal support

Temporary spousal support, as the name suggests, only runs for a specific period. This support ends when the divorce is final. The court awards this to low-earning spouses to aid them during the divorce process. To be eligible for this alimony, the seeking spouse has to demonstrate the necessity for the support and that the other spouse is capable of paying for it.

The rare one: permanent spousal support

Florida rarely awards permanent spousal support. The state almost eliminated this type of alimony if it were not for the governor’s veto in 2022. For this type of support, the marriage must have lasted for at least 17 years before the parties filed the divorce petition. If the marriage lasted for less than seven years, the court considers it a short-term marriage. However, some circumstances bar the possibility of an award such as the disability of the spouse or a disabled child they are caring for.

Can permanent alimony end? Yes. The alimony terminates upon either party’s death or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony.

Where the two intersect

In both types of support, the paying spouse can rebut the request if they can demonstrate that the seeking spouse has assets or earning capacity to maintain their standard of living without receiving support.

The courts consider several circumstances when deciding the alimony. Either way, there must be competent and substantial evidence for awarding them.