Types of alimony awarded in Florida

Did you know that Florida law provides more than one type of alimony? Not many people do -- especially those who have never before gone through a divorce. Florida courts consider several factors before awarding any type of alimony. Those factors include:

-- Standard of living the couples has established-- Length of the marriage-- Physical and emotional condition of each spouse-- Each spouse's contribution to the marriage (income, homemaking, career building, etc.)-- Child rearing responsibilities after the divorce

Assessing points like the ones above enables courts to make decisions about which type of alimony, if any, will be awarded. In Florida, there are four main types of alimony. Below you will find a brief description of each type.

Permanent Alimony: Courts may award this type when no other option is viable and the receiving spouse has very limited financial options. It enables the receiver to maintain the standard of living he or she enjoyed during the marriage. It is typically awarded for long-term marriages, though any marriage length can be considered.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: This type can last for not more than two years. It empowers the receiving spouse to make a smoother transition to single life. It does so by funds for short-term needs like rent or groceries.

Durational Alimony: This type is usually awarded when permanent alimony is considered inappropriate. It typically lasts for a set time period and may not exceed the length of the marriage.

Rehabilitative Alimony: This is designed to empower receiving spouses to become self-sufficient, this type comes with mandatory conditions. The receiver must develop a rehabilitative plan and then stick with it until completion.

In times of hardship that sometimes accompany divorce, any type of alimony is helpful. However, one type over the other may be more beneficial, depending upon individual circumstances. Speaking with a Broward County attorney can help divorced people decide which type of alimony may best meet their unique needs; the attorney can then seek this type of alimony in court.

Source: The Florida Senate, "The 2014 Florida Statutes 61.08," accessed June 17, 2015

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