What Types of Alimony Are Available In Florida

Florida alimony law is governed by Florida Statute §61.08, wherein various forms of alimony are established. Florida permits four (4) forms of alimony: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent periodic. The statute permits the award of one (1), or simultaneously, multiple forms of alimony. Multiple alimony awards can be awarded to a party as each form of alimony is designed to provide the receiving party support for different purposes.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded to one party to provide support for the purposes of temporarily providing necessities to "bridge-the-gap" between married life and single life. Bridge-the-gap alimony is not awarded on a long-term basis, but typically only for a few months for the spouse needing such support is able to adjust to single life. Typically, this form of alimony will allow the receiving party to obtain new housing, temporarily maintain their current household, provide food support, and other necessities.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to a spouse who can prove a need for support in order to further certain goals; oftentimes rehabilitative alimony is awarded for additional schooling or training. Rehabilitative alimony requires the requesting party to present a "rehabilitative plan" to include where the money is to be spent, what education or training the needing spouse is requesting, and the length of time needed. This "rehabilitative plan" has to be approved by the judge and can be modified by the judge if necessary. This form of alimony is designed to place the requesting spouse in a place where they can care for themselves.

Durational alimony is awarded for a specific period of time at a specific amount. When parties split, one spouse may not have pursued career goals in lieu of household necessities or relied on the other spouse of various reasons. When this occurs, the spouse needing the alimony can be granted support for a specific period of time in order to get back on their feet. The factors for durational alimony are, fundamentally, the need of the requesting spouse and the ability to pay of the potentially obligated spouse, among the aforementioned statutory factors.

Permanent periodic alimony is alimony for the remainder of the parties' lives. To be eligible for permanent periodic alimony, under normal circumstances, the parties are required to be married at least 17 years and the spouse requesting alimony can be provided basic life necessities. This alimony form is currently in the news regularly and being discussed in the Florida Legislature. Permanent periodic will require one party to pay the other party an indefinite period of time.

All forms of alimony can, and will, be terminated upon the following events: death of one of the parties, remarriage of the receiving spouse, or the receiving spouse cohabitating with another individual as if married.

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