Florida legislation expects
divorcing couples to more or less be able to sort their
spousal support or alimony issues themselves, as there is no official guideline that people
must follow. While there is clearly some benefit to having free reign over
the terms, duration, and amount of alimony negotiated in a divorce, it
can understandably leave many people feeling a bit lost and confused.
How much is too much, or too little? How long is too long, or too short? And what
type of alimony should you consider?
Four Different Types of Alimony in Florida
If you and your ex-spouse have accepted that one or the other needs spousal
support to continue living comfortably after your divorce, it is time
to determine what sort of alimony will work best for you. To avoid pitfalls
and getting turned around in the relatively-open legal guidelines of
family law in Florida, it is highly advised that you talk to a spousal support attorney
early on to get guidance.
Ask your divorce lawyer about the four types of alimony in Florida, which are:
Permanent: Just as it sounds, permanent alimony lasts until further notice. Usually
the only three things that can break permanent alimony is the spouse receiving
the benefits remarrying, the spouse paying the benefits passing away,
or both spouses agreeing on a new alimony contract. Courts will generally
only approve permanent alimonies if the marriage was determined to be
Durational: Short- or moderate-length marriages can be followed by durational alimonies,
which generally do not pay a considerable amount each month. Durational
alimonies can only persist for as long as the marriage did. If you were
married 8 years, for example, your durational alimony can only last up
to 8 years but could be shorter.
Bridge-the-gap: Used when the marriage was five years or less and when one spouse never
supported themselves financially, bridge-the-gap alimony is issued in
small amounts that gradually taper down. For example, you may start by
paying $500 to your ex each month for one year, $300 a month for the next
year, $100 a month for the year after that, and then nothing more when
you use bridge-the-gap alimony agreements.
Rehabilitative: Advancing your education is expensive but often be the only gateway to
gainful employment. If you just want financial support from your ex-spouse
while you attend college, university, or advanced career training courses,
you will want to set up rehabilitative alimony. Once you gain your higher
degree or land a job that allows you to take care of yourself, rehabilitative
alimony will likely end.
More Alimony & More Help
There are actually technically even more types of alimony in Florida, including
temporary, nominal, and lump sum, but these are less common. The free
nature of Florida’s spousal support laws has lent itself to numerous
kinds of alimony, and more and more people needing a professional’s
help to sort it all out. If you are divorcing in Florida and want legal
contact R. Gregory Colvin LLC and schedule a
free consultation with our Orlando divorce attorney today.