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Is Palimony Allowed in Florida?


Palimony is not recognized in the state of Florida. Some people confuse palimony with alimony, which is allowed. Palimony is essentially the support payments made to unmarried couples who were cohabitating. This means you do not have legal grounds to sue your ex-partner in Family Court for financial support if you were not legally married.

What about Common Law Marriage in Florida?

If you are wondering if you qualify for common law marriage status and therefore would be entitled to financial support, Florida doesn’t recognize common law marriage either. However, if you became common law spouses in a state that does have a recognized common law marriage law, then Florida will recognize it as well.

Does Florida Recognize Domestic Partners?

Florida doesn’t have a domestic partnership or civil union law that provides for rights like married spouses are offered. Florida has recognized same-sex marriage since 2015, and same-sex couples are afforded similar benefits to opposite-sex couples, like medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

What Type of Alimony is Allowed? 

While Florida doesn’t allow for palimony, there are several different kinds of alimony that are allowed for couples who have legally married. These include:

  • Temporary Alimony: This allows for household bills to be paid while your divorce is pending. It is awarded on a temporary basis only until you and your spouse can reach a more permanent agreement.
  • Transitional Alimony: For a spouse that doesn’t qualify for any other types of alimony, but still needs some assistance, this could be a one-time payment issued. You may also hear this called “bridge the gap” alimony.
  • Lump Sum Alimony: The court may award permanent alimony, but to be paid in a one-time lump sum or in installments. This type of alimony cannot be modified or altered in any way.
  • Durational Alimony: This refers to alimony awarded in a case when the marriage was too brief to qualify for permanent alimony. Marriages that are considered moderate duration are ones that were less than 17 years, so the duration of alimony could not exceed the length of the marriage itself.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is intended for a spouse who is unemployed and did not need to work during the marriage because of his or her spouse’s income. This type of alimony helps a spouse take steps to improve their own income and the court can order this to be paid until they are able to support themselves without assistance from the ex-spouse. The spouse will need to provide a plan to the court on how they will become self-sufficient, whether it’s through school or getting a job, etc.
  • Permanent Alimony: This is awarded to the one spouse on an indefinite basis until it’s modified or terminated if the recipient spouse enters into a “supportive relationship” with someone new. You may hear this alimony called “permanent periodic alimony.”

Retaining a Florida Divorce Attorney

If you are planning to file for divorce or need to divide assets in a domestic partnership that is coming to an end, you need to speak to a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White at 561-391-9943 to schedule a consultation.



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