Divorce Law

How is Alimony Awarded in a Divorce?

Alimony Awarded in a Divorce

There are five different ways that alimony can be awarded in the state of Florida. This includes durational, rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, permanent, and temporary alimony. Each option is designed to provide an individual with financial support when certain circumstances are present for a certain period of time.

The main purpose of alimony is to eliminate unfair economic limitations for the spouse who earns less after a divorce. Based on the specific nature of the case, the judge can decide to grant one spouse monthly alimony payments on a permanent, long-term or temporary basis. The following factors are considered when determining the amount and duration that alimony must be paid.

Temporary Alimony

Getting a divorce is a process that can take months or even a year depending on how complex the case is. This is why a judge may order one spouse to pay temporary alimony for the financially dependent spouse while the divorce is going on. The payments would cease once the divorce was final; however, the judge can order the support to be continued if necessary.

Permanent Alimony

When figuring out a factor such as alimony, the judge is going to consider several factors. This includes how long the couple was married, the established standard of living, and the physical and emotional conditions of both spouses. For couples who are married for at least 17 years, and if one spouse earns less than the other, then this may be a case where permanent alimony is awarded.

Bridge the Gap Alimony

This was designed to help provide support for one spouse who has identifiable, legitimate short-term needs while making a move from being married to becoming single once again. In some cases, one spouse may be unable to take care of basic living expenses, which is when support is necessary from the other person.

Rehabilitative Alimony

This type of alimony is usually awarded for short-term marriages (ones that lasted between seven and 17 years). Unlike the permanent alimony, this was designed to offer financial support to the dependent spouse while they work to become self-supportive. This may include training, education, or something else. The payments would be temporary.

Durational Alimony

This is usually awarded in situations where a couple has been married for over 17 years. It is designed to offer one of the spouse’s economic support for a certain amount of time. As a result, the payments will eventually cease at a date that is determined by the judge. In some cases, it only lasts for a few months; however, there are also cases where durational alimony lasts for years. However, according to Florida law, the durational alimony cannot last longer than the length of the couple’s marriage.

There is no question that issues related to family law and divorce can be complicated. If you are facing any type of issue or have questions, contact an experienced Florida divorce lawyer  to learn more. Proper legal representation is the best way to ensure your rights are protected.


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