4 Types of Alimony Awarded in Florida
Also known as spousal maintenance, alimony is a court-ordered transfer of financial resources from a spouse with a higher income to an ex-spouse with a low-income during divorce or separation. In most cases, these payments continue even after divorce.
Spouses are free to negotiate their alimony payments. However, most of them opt to go through the court process where a judge will determine the type of alimony, duration of the transfers, and, most importantly, the amount of alimony to be paid. According to Florida State Legislature, here are the types of alimony that are likely to be awarded if you’re going through a divorce.
1. Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
This type of spousal maintenance has a limit of two years. Once the amount to pay has been determined, parties cannot go back and modify the same. The primary purpose of this alimony is to help your former spouse to transition from his or her marriage life to a new one. It is meant to help with legitimate short-term needs.
These identifiable but short-term include basic furniture, enough cash to set up utilities, secure housing, and other immediate needs. A spouse receiving bridge-the-gap alimony is also likely to be awarded other types of alimony by Florida courts.
2. Rehabilitative Alimony
If you were married and you were a full-time housewife, and now you are facing divorce, logically, you do not have any other source of income apart from your former spouse’s support. Therefore, to ensure that the non-earning spouse can take care of themselves, they need some form of training support (rehabilitative alimony). Unlike bridge-the-gap spousal support, rehabilitative alimony is meant to help your ex-spouse in becoming self-sufficient.
The estranged spouse must submit and outline how the educational goals will be achieved, and transition to employment to receive academic training support as part of alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is specifically to assist a former spouse in becoming self-reliant. While bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified, rehabilitative alimony can be adjusted on the failure of non-compliance or revised due to the circumstance of the training path taken for employment skills or credentials.
3. Durational Alimony
Duration alimony is also for a limited period. However, unlike bridge-the-gap alimony, it can be for more than two years. They are usually awarded in cases where the marriage did not last a long time. Duration alimony is for economic support awarded to the spouse who does not have sufficient funds to meet their needs.
Also, marriages that have lasted a long time can have duration alimony awarded. This is if it is determined that the spouse does not need financial support permanently.
4. Permanent Alimony
In varied circumstances, the court may deem it fit to award a lifetime spousal support (permanent alimony) to the less earning former spouse. This is when it has been ascertained that the spouse can take care of themselves due to age, disability or emotional conditional.
How Florida courts determine alimony payments
There’s no specific formula that courts use to determine how much money your ex-spouse should receive. Instead, judges review each spouse’s needs and their ability to make alimony payments.
Besides, the judges consider critical factors such as the spouse’s health, age, earning ability, and overall income. The judge may be interested in knowing how long your marriage lasted and the kind of life you had during the marriage (living standards).
Divorce has never been a pleasant experience for anyone. In addition to mentally-exhausting paperwork, you must handle other issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. It’s recommended to hire a divorce lawyer to help you navigate this process.