Alimony in Florida
Alimony is one of the last things to be determined during the divorce process. Alimony is sometimes referred to as “spousal support” and is designed to provide financial support for a spouse in need. Alimony is determined on a case by case basis. The Florida courts evaluate if a spouse demonstrates a financial need that can be met by the other spouse. There are multiple factors that the Florida courts assess when determining an alimony award. Some of these factors include the standard of living when married, the time needed to acquire appropriate employment, and responsibilities regarding any minor children.
Another major factor in determining an alimony award in Florida is the length of the marriage. The current rule according to the court is that a marriage less than seven (7) years is a short-term marriage while a marriage longer than seventeen (17) years is considered a long-term marriage. A moderate term marriage is any marriage lasting between seven and seventeen years.
There are different types of alimony awards depending on your unique circumstances.
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Permanent alimony is usually reserved for those ending a long term marriage. It is awarded as a periodic payment that is meant to provide financial assistance in maintaining a lifestyle similar to the one that had been established during the marriage. Permanent alimony can be modified or ended if there are a substantial change in circumstances for either party.
Durational alimony is designed as a short-term alimony award which is often given when permanent alimony is not needed. It provides financial assistance for a set period of time that may not exceed the length of the marriage.
Rehabilitative alimony is another short-term alimony award. It is given to assist a spouse in establishing the ability to be self-supportive. There must be a specific plan to develop previous skills, acquire additional education, training or work experience so the Florida courts and both parties understand the expectations of a rehabilitative alimony award.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is a short-term alimony solution designed to help during the transition from married to single life. Often awarded as a lump sum, bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to be used for legitimate, identifiable short-term needs. Although individual needs may vary, this type of alimony award is usually intended for use in meeting basic living requirements. As a short-term solution the length of bridge-the-gap alimony should not exceed two (2) years, cannot be modified, and automatically ends if the receiver remarries or either party passes away.
Pendente Lite Alimony
Pendente Lite is Latin for pending litigation and is used to help both spouses maintain their status quo until the divorce is finalized. Before a divorce, a person can claim this alimony by petitioning the courts. If pendente lite alimony is awarded, the spouse with the greater income is still financially responsible for the other until everything is finalized. For example, if one of the spouses moves out before the divorce proceedings, this money can be used to continue to make home mortgage payments. A pendente lite alimony award remains in place until a final litigation is agreed upon.
Whether you are looking to request alimony or may have to pay it, the attorneys at LaFrance Law will gladly help you through the process. Fill out the form in the sidebar or call us at (813) 930-5542 for a case consultation.