Under Florida Law, alimony may be awarded to either spouse. The party asking for alimony must show need and the other party's ability to pay. The court considers numerous factors in making an award. There are five types of alimony under Florida law.
Bridge the Gap Alimony
Bridge the Gap Alimony provides support to assist in the transition from being married to becoming single. The party seeking it must show show legitimate and identifiable short term needs. The Bridge the Gap Alimony term may not exceed two years. Bridge the Gap Alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving it. Bridge the Gap Alimony is not modifiable in duration or amount.
Rehabilitative alimony assists the party to become self-supporting. During the term of Rehabilitative Alimony, the party receiving it either redevelops old employment skills or develops new ones. Rehabilitative alimony requires a specific and defined rehabilitative plan. Rehabilitative alimony is modifiable or terminable upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or completion of the rehabilitation plan.
Durational Alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. Durational Alimony is awarded in marriages of short duration (0-7 years) or moderate duration (over 7 years but under 17 years). Durational Alimony is awarded in marriages of long duration (over 17 years) if there is no ongoing need of permanent support. The amount of the Durational Alimony award may be modified based upon a substantial change in circumstances. The length of the Durational Alimony award is non-modifiable absent exceptional circumstances. The length of the Durational Alimony award may not exceed the length of the marriage.
Permanent alimony is awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as established during the marriage. Permanent alimony is presumptively awarded in long -term marriages (over 17 years).
Permanent alimony is awarded in moderate length marriages (over 7 years but under 17 years) based upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence. Permanent alimony is awarded in short-term marriages (under 7 years) only upon written findings of exceptional circumstances. Permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party, or the remarriage or the receiving party. Permanent alimony is modifiable in duration and amount based upon a substantial change in circumstances or the entry into a supportive relationship by the receiving party .
Lump-sum alimony is a one-time payment of support to the receiving party based upon the numerous factors considered by the court, including the earning capacities, financial resources, and child-care responsibilities.
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