Types of Alimony in Florida

Here are some of the questions about the types of alimony in Florida that we are routinely asked in our Jupiter divorce law firm.

  • What is alimony?
  • Are there different kinds of alimony?
  • How do you know if you’re entitled to alimony?
  • Is there a way to calculate how much alimony you are entitled to?

George Gelb has been practicing divorce law in Jupiter and the surrounding areas for over 35 years. He is well-versed in all areas of Florida divorce law, including alimony, and well-respected as an expert in his field.

If you are going through a divorce and have questions about the types of alimony in Florida, feel free to give us a call. In the meantime, we will answer some of the commonly asked questions about alimony.

What is alimony?

Most married couples combine incomes and share money. Sometimes one spouse stays home and takes care of the home and the children, possibly working part-time, while the other spouse works full-time and earns the majority of the family’s income.

Like business partners, when one invests capital and one invests time, they are nevertheless both entitled to their fair share of the income the business produces.

When a marriage ends in divorce and one spouse does not have the level of income the other spouse has, the court may award alimony to support the spouse who earns less money for an amount of time determined by the court.

Are there different kinds of alimony?

There are six different types of alimony in Florida. They are:

  • Permanent
  • Rehabilitative
  • Bridge-the-Gap
  • Durational
  • Lump Sum
  • Temporary

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony (also called Permanent Periodic alimony) is generally awarded in marriages lasting 17 years or more and where the income disparity is substantial. It is called “permanent” because it will last until the death of one spouse or the remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony.

Read more about permanent alimony here.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is designed to support the receiving spouse while he/she receives training, education, or work experience to be able to support him/herself. It is often awarded in short or medium duration marriages, and requires the receiving spouse to have a plan of action in place.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-Gap alimony is a short-term alimony awarded to help the receiving spouse with the transition from married life to single life. It cannot exceed two years.

Durational Alimony

This is the most recent type of alimony in Florida. It is often awarded when Permanent alimony is not appropriate – often because the marriage was of short or medium duration. It is similar to Rehabilitative alimony but does not require the recipient to have a plan of action for training or education.

Lump Sum Alimony

Lump Sum alimony can be awarded in cases where monthly payments become impractical, or to provide an equitable distribution of assets; for instance, when one spouse is awarded the family business and the other is awarded a lump sum payment.

Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony provides financial assistance to the receiving spouse from the time the divorce papers are filed until the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered.

Is there a way to calculate alimony?

Unlike child support, there really isn’t a way to plug in numbers and calculate how much alimony will be. The court takes alimony on a case-by-case basis and considers a number of factors before determining whether a spouse is entitled to alimony, as well as how much and for how long.

Our next post will focus on the factors the court uses to determine alimony.

If you have any questions regarding the types of alimony for your Jupiter divorce, contact our office and we will gladly assist you.

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