How Alimony Works in a Florida Divorce
Alimony, also known as spousal support, refers to monetary payments made from one spouse to the other. Alimony is sometimes awarded in a Florida divorce if there is a significant disparity in income between the spouses.
Factors that Impact Alimony
If awarded, the type, duration, and amount of alimony will be determined by considering:
- length of the marriage
- standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- whether one spouse quit their job/school after marriage
- whether one spouse was the primary caretaker of the children
- the contribution each spouse made to the marriage
- whether an unemployed spouse is qualified to work
- whether an unemployed spouse is able to take classes or learn a skill to assist in finding employment to become self-sufficient
- whether one spouse is ill or disabled and needs additional funds for support
- tax consequences of paying or receiving alimony
Alimony can be awarded on a temporary basis, on a monthly basis or provided in a one-time lump sum payment
Types of Alimony
There are several different kinds of alimony or spousal support a court may award in Florida:
- Temporary Alimony – Temporary alimony is
- awarded when one spouse requires financial support while the divorce is pending.
- Bridge-the-gap Alimony – Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to help the recipient during the transitional period after divorce. This type of divorce can last up to two years.
- Rehabilitative alimony – Rehabilitative alimony is meant to support a spouse while they try to secure gainful employment. This includes paying for vocational training or educational classes to develop or enhance job skills.
- Permanent alimony — Permanent alimony provides lifetime financial support to a spouse who is unlikely to acquire the skills needed to get a job and support themselves. Permanent alimony is ordered in cases involving long-term marriages lasting 17 years or more.
- Durational alimony – Durational alimony is awarded when other options are not sufficient. This alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.