How Does Rehabilitative Alimony in Florida Work?

Divorce can be complicated, and financial considerations like alimony often make things even more challenging. If you are a Florida resident facing a divorce, you may have questions or concerns about whether you or your ex-spouse will be liable for alimony payments. Rehabilitative alimony is one common form of post-divorce agreement to consider as you plan your financial future.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a specific period to help one party develop the ability to self-support outside the marriage. The party awarded a rehabilitative alimony arrangement has usually left work or passed up higher education for an extended period due to the marriage. While they may be capable of achieving financial independence in the long term, they will need short-term financial help from their ex-spouse to help them re-enter the job market or pursue a degree. 

A divorce proceeding involves complex issues that may be difficult to navigate alone. That means it’s essential to get help from professionals. For residents of Florida dealing with rehabilitative alimony during a divorce, the dedicated attorneys at The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A., can provide legal support and guidance through every step of the process.

Eligibility for Rehabilitative Alimony

There are several different types of alimony under Florida law. Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term arrangement to help one party get back on their feet after a divorce.

In July 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation making several major revisions to Florida’s alimony law. Though this bill mainly impacted permanent alimony settlements, it also capped rehabilitative alimony arrangements at no more than five years.  It also gave greater legal means for terminating a rehabilitative alimony arrangement early if the recipient is not following through on the rehabilitation plan.

Going forward, these new laws will affect rehabilitative alimony cases in Florida.

Standard of Living Assessments

In most divorce proceedings in Florida, judges consider several interrelated factors when deciding if one party is eligible for rehabilitative alimony. One party should demonstrate they will face a substantial standard of living decline without financial support from their ex-spouse. 

Rehabilitative alimony arrangements support the party with the long-term capacity to achieve self-sufficiency via higher education, building work experience, or other means. 

Rehabilitative Action Plans

Most rehabilitative alimony proceedings require the party seeking payments to explain how they’ll achieve financial independence. A party may show a judge acceptance into a degree program or job training course. Or, they might demonstrate an ongoing commitment to finding a full-time job. 

Eligibility for rehabilitative alimony payments is contingent upon the recipient adhering to the agreed-upon plan to achieve self-support. The alimony arrangement is void if they fail to meet these agreed-upon criteria. The arrangement may also expire early if that party becomes financially self-sufficient before the end of the payment term. 

Factors Considered in Determining Rehabilitative Alimony

One major factor is the length of the marriage itself. Most rehabilitative alimony arrangements are for medium-length marriages, usually less than ten years.

Relationships of this length may force one spouse to leave the job market or higher education. This makes it difficult for the party to establish financial independency immediately after divorce. Rehabilitative alimony serves as short-term financial help while that party re-enters the workforce. 

Other significant factors include the following:

  • The financial resources of each spouse
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Any factors that may delay one party from achieving financial independence, such as disability or caregiving responsibilities

Process of Obtaining Rehabilitative Alimony

In Florida, the process for obtaining rehabilitative alimony can vary on a case-by-case basis. However, it usually involves the following factors:

  • Analyzing the standard of living established during the marriage
  • Identifying the financial resources available to each party 
  • Determining one party’s financial disadvantages once the marriage has ended
  • Drawing up a plan for achieving financial self-sufficiency over a specific period 
  • Calculating how much financial support one party needs during the rehabilitative period 

The process of a divorce is never easy. Ever-changing laws and complicated procedures only make things worse. That’s why getting advice and support from trusted attorneys along the way is essential. With the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, you can feel confident that you have help in your corner.

The award-winning lawyers at the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker Law can help you easily work through the entire process and secure an agreement that protects your interests as you begin your new life.

Modifying or Terminating Rehabilitative Alimony

Sometimes, a rehabilitative alimony arrangement may be modified or terminated before the agreed-upon timeframe. A judge may terminate an agreement if the recipient does not follow the agreed-upon rehabilitation plan. A judge may also terminate or modify the arrangement if there is a substantial change in circumstances. 

For example, if the plan necessitated pursuing higher education or job training, the agreement is void if the recipient doesn’t meet these requirements. Likewise, a judge may terminate an arrangement if the recipient achieves financial self-sufficiency earlier than the end of the initial payment period.

Common Challenges and Considerations

Common considerations in fair and sustainable rehabilitative alimony plans include:

  • Determining the exact financial means available to each ex-spouse
  • Identifying available means of attaining self-sufficiency, such as available education programs or entry-level jobs
  • Tracking changes in the job market
  • Exploring potential financial support from another non-married partner

Sometimes a person receiving rehabilitative alimony payments begins a non-marriage relationship with a third party. If they receive financial support from this relationship, their ex-spouse may challenge the alimony arrangement. Florida law now allows for this even if the supportive relationship is not a legal marriage.

Get Alimony Help With the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker

Whether you are seeking rehabilitative alimony from an ex-spouse or think you might be liable for alimony payments, experienced divorce attorneys can help simplify the process.

The Florida divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker are trusted professionals in family law. Countless Floridians turn to our experienced legal professionals for help with their complicated divorce issues. We have years of experience with the changing landscape of Florida family law. We have the dedication to help Floridians achieve the best results from their divorce proceedings. 

All Floridians deserve to have their rights and well-being protected during divorce proceedings. When it comes to alimony, you deserve to have your needs respected throughout the entire process. That’s why the trusted attorneys at Travis R. Walker will fight for you, no matter the circumstance. 

Call the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker at (772) 708-0952, or contact us at our website to get the resources, support, and professionalism you need. 

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