Alimony is the method by which a person with greater financial resources supports a former spouse after a divorce. This support is available in Florida and is extremely important for many people. In Florida, alimony is sometimes known as maintenance. Here’s some information you might want to know about alimony.
Alimony can be awarded in a lump sum, on a monthly basis, or in some combination of the two. The type of alimony depends on both monetary and non-monetary factors. The length of a marriage is important when determining alimony, and marriages are classified in three different ways. A short-term marriage is one that lasted fewer than seven years, a moderate-term marriage lasts seven or more years but fewer than seventeen, and a long-term marriage lasts seventeen or more years. Different types of alimony serve different purposes.
- Temporary alimony: This is awarded during the divorce proceeding and automatically terminated once the formal divorce decree is entered.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: This alimony is transitional, meant to help a spouse adjust to being single by paying for foreseeable and identifiable bills associated with starting over without a spouse.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This is awarded to help a spouse pursue an educational program or vocational skill training to allow self-sufficiency. This alimony requires a specific plan, including the estimated length of time and amount of money required to pursue this new avenue. The spouse paying the alimony can request a modification of the agreement if the other spouse significantly deviates from the plan.
- Durational alimony: Often given after a short or moderate-term marriage, it’s awarded as a set amount over a pre-determined time period that doesn’t exceed the length of the marriage.
- Permanent alimony: Usually awarded for moderate or long-term marriages, this is given to a spouse who can’t achieve the standard set by the marriage in terms of life necessities and general needs.
All alimony except rehabilitative alimony will end when one spouse dies, or if the receiving spouse remarries. But what else factors into the determination of alimony? If one spouse committed adultery, the circumstances surrounding this will be examined. The court will consider the couple’s standard of living, age, physical or emotional limitations that could affect earning capacity or economic needs, and any additional education or training required. Marital and non-marital assets will be considered, as will the contributions each spouse made to the marriage, including financial contributions, homemaking, child care, support of a spouse while obtaining an education, and assisting a spouse during the building of a career or business.