A major component of many divorces are alimony payments. In order for the court to decide how much alimony should be paid, the judge needs to look at how much each spouse is expected to earn each month, what their expenses going forward will be, and how much alimony would need to be awarded for both spouses to maintain a lifestyle similar to the one they enjoyed while still married.
In Florida, there are five different types of alimony the court can award:
Permanent Alimony: As the name suggests, permanent alimony has no set end date. If a spouse is expected to lack the ability to financially provide for themselves or become self-supporting, permanent alimony can be awarded to ensure that they can maintain a similar standard of living to the one they enjoyed while married. In order for a judge to award this type of alimony, they must address why any other form would not be fair or reasonable.
Temporary Alimony: This type of alimony, also referred to as “pendente lite,” is intended to financially support the spouse in need during the divorce process. Temporary alimony will end once the divorce is finalized.
Bridge-The-Gap Alimony: This type of alimony has a maximum duration of two years, and begins once the divorce is finalized. It’s intended to help the spouse receiving payments cover short term expenses like living expenses while the house is on the market, or if they need to complete their education or participate in a training program to improve their employment prospects.
Rehabilitative Alimony: Similar to, but more targeted than bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony is intended to help the spouse receiving payments complete the training or education they need in order to rejoin the workforce. In order to request this type of alimony, a spouse needs to submit a plan detailing the amount of time and money they need to complete their training or education.
Durational Alimony: This type of alimony can be awarded if the court determines that all other types of alimony do not sufficiently meet the spouse’s needs. Durational alimony can only last as long as the length of the marriage, so if you were married for five years, the durational alimony can only last for five years.
Alimony is an important component of a lot of divorces, and is a vital part of many ex-spouse’s financial stability following their divorce. In order to end up with the best possible outcome, it’s important to hire qualified legal representation to help you through negotiations. At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce attorneys understand the stakes involved, and are prepared to fight for you like you were our own family member. Contact us today to request a consultation, or call us to set up a meeting with one of our divorce lawyers.