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The Different Types of Spousal Support Payments in Florida

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When a couple makes the decision to divorce, one of the first topics that usually come up are spousal support, or alimony. Spousal support is one of the most financially and mentally draining aspects of the divorce process. The Florida courts have determined that all alimony awards are given by the courts based on “need and ability to pay.” See Stern v. Stern, 907 So. 2d 701, 702 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005). However, understanding how the different types of payments may help you and what they are for will help you throughout the process.

In the State of Florida, there are five types of alimony: See Florida Statute 61.08

Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony is awarded to provide a lower-earning spouse with temporary financial support while the divorce is pending. This type of alimony ends once the divorce is finalized.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony has been created to provide support to a spouse for a shorter duration to allow them to transition from a married life more easily to a single life. This short-term alimony award requires the payments to be made for a maximum of two years after a divorce. Bridge-the-gap alimony usually focuses on the short-term needs or a spouse such as selling property, or finishing an education program.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to a partner who needs financial assistance to help pay for training or education required to obtain a job to become self-supporting after a period of time. The spouse desiring the same must submit a specific plan that lays out the time frame and amount of funds needed for this.

Durational Alimony

Durational alimony provides a financially dependent spouse with assistance after the divorce for a set duration. If one spouse was dependent on the other spouse during a short-term marriage (7 years or less) or a moderate-term marriage (7-17 years), they may be eligible for a durational alimony award. These payments will stop at a predetermined date by the Florida court and cannot last longer than the length of the marriage. 

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is exactly what it sounds like, it is a permanent award of alimony awarded to a spouse who cannot maintain the standard of living set forth during the marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded in a long term marriage (over 17 years) if one of the spouses is found to not be able to support themselves financially or, as previously stated, not able to maintain the same standard of living that they had when the marriage was intact. Embarking on your divorce journey with confidence begins with being well-prepared. Download our FREE guide, “10 Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce Checklist,” to arm yourself with critical insights and actionable steps for the road ahead.  SplytUp is here to simplify your split and guide your future, helping you to move forward on solid ground. Secure your smoother pathway today by downloading your free guide.

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