When spouses are seeking separation, alimony plays a critical role in ensuring that the spouse with lower financial resources receives the support they need. Alimony is a mechanism that provides for a spouse with the higher financial capability to support their former partner until such a time when the partner can achieve a lifestyle close to the one he/she had during the marriage. There are five different types of alimony in Florida.
Alimony also plays an important role in ensuring that the financial repercussions of divorce don’t weigh down heavily on the spouse with fewer financial resources. Indeed, divorce is expensive, and both partners typically need an increase in income of about 30% just to maintain the same standard of living that they had before. Furthermore, 1 in 5 women tends to fall into poverty under divorce, while most men experience a 10-40% drop in their living standards after divorce.
The 5 different types of alimony in Florida
Temporary alimony in Florida is issued to a spouse in need of financial support during the duration of the divorce proceedings. It is primarily meant to support the spouse in financial need as the actual divorce process is finalized.
After the divorce proceedings are complete, temporary alimony stops. Another type of alimony may be awarded to the spouse if they receive a ruling in their favor.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to allow a spouse in financial need to receive temporary support as they work towards meeting immediate expenses and becoming financially stable.
This type of alimony is awarded after the divorce is finalized and it has a maximum duration of 2 years. A spouse may need to meet certain immediate expenses while they wait to sell a home or complete training in a particular field.
In Florida, there are cases where a spouse may be unable to meet their financial requirements even after other types of alimony are awarded. Based on financial need, a judge may award durational alimony in order to support the spouse over a certain period of time.
Durational alimony can only last as long as the length of the actual marriage. For example, if a couple was married for 5 years, durational alimony can be awarded for a maximum of 5 years or less.
Rehabilitative alimony is a type of alimony meant to enable a spouse in financial need to become independent. The alimony is used to assist the spouse in finishing an educational plan or specialized training that will enable them to find appropriate employment.
In order to qualify for this type of alimony, the spouse undergoing the program needs to provide a clear plan that outlines all associated costs as well as the duration of the plan.
#5 Permanent Alimony
For spouses who are unable to work towards maintaining the lifestyle that they had during the marriage, a judge may decide to award permanent alimony. This type of alimony is meant to continue over the long-term in order to support the spouse in financial need. However, permanent alimony can only be awarded in special circumstances where no other type of alimony would suffice for the recipient.
If you’re undergoing a divorce and you will need alimony support, Attorney John F. Greene can help. As an experienced divorce attorney serving the cities of Crestview, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City, Destin, Niceville, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Greene can represent your interests and assist you in preparing a strong case for your alimony payments. If undergoing divorce in Florida, call Attorney Greene at 850-424-6833 or schedule a consultation online.