Types of Alimony Awarded in Florida Divorce Cases
If you’re concerned about financial security during your divorce, Florida law does allow for alimony to be awarded. When people think of alimony, they often assume that alimony is a monthly check that goes to the ex-spouse for the remainder of that person’s life. Alimony awards are not that black and white, nor are they always permanent in nature. Each case is evaluated based on the couple’s circumstances. The court considers factors like adultery of either party and whether either party needs financial support. Other factors taken into account include:
- Standard of living during course of marriage
- Length of marriage
- Physical and emotional well-being and age of each spouse
- Financial resources, including non-marital and marital assets
- Earning capacity including potential employability
- Contributions by each spouse during the course of the marriage
- Minor children and responsibilities of each spouse
- Tax consequences
- All sources of income
Types of Alimony
As of 2010, Florida allows for six different types of alimony that can be awarded in a divorce case. These include:
- Temporary Alimony — This type of alimony is awarded just to ensure household bills and expenses are paid during the course of the divorce.
- Lump Sum Alimony — This is a pre-arranged lump sum amount that is either paid all at once or in installments. The amount cannot be changed either.
- Bridge the Gap —This is a temporary award that helps the spouse transition from the marriage to being single again.
- Durational — Durational is the newest type of alimony that became effective in 2010. It covers marriages that were too short to qualify for permanent periodic alimony. This type of alimony applies to marriages that are less than 17 years and the duration of the alimony can’t exceed the duration of the marriage itself.
- Rehabilitative — Rehabilitative alimony is primarily awarded to the unemployed spouse who didn’t work during the marriage due to the other spouse’s income. The receiving spouse must prepare a plan for the court that shows how they will gain self-sufficiency, either by education or obtaining a job.
- Permanent Periodic — Permanent periodic alimony is awarded to help the spouse maintain the standard of living they had while married. This type of alimony is paid until the spouse’s death or they remarry.
Courts now have the flexibility to award one or any combination of the alimony types in a divorce case. When discussing the length of a marriage for alimony purposes, they use these guidelines:
- Short-term Marriages (less than seven years)
- Moderate-term Marriages (7 – 17 years)
- Long-term Marriages (more than 17 years)
Retaining a Florida Divorce Attorney
If you’re facing a divorce and need assistance with alimony, you need a Boca Raton divorce attorney who can make a strong case on why you deserve the monetary award you are seeking. Courts have the ability to make discretionary awards based on individual circumstances so it’s important you have the best attorney fighting for you. The attorneys at Law Offices of Schwartz | White have years of experience navigating the nuances of alimony awards in Florida. Contact our office at 561.391.9943 to schedule a confidential consultation.