When couples divorce, one-half of the couple may be granted alimony, or spousal support, in particular circumstances. Alimony was much more common in previous years when more women were expected to stay at home rather than work for wages; a husband who wished to divorce his wife, therefore, would have to pay alimony for a certain amount of time, perhaps permanently if his ex never remarried.
These days, most people work outside the home, contributing two incomes for one family; it’s also not impossible for women to get decent jobs with a living wage anymore, which makes alimony much more rarely awarded. In Florida, there are 6 types of alimony that could be granted by the court during the divorce. They are as follows:
- Bridge the gap
- Lump sum
- Permanent periodic
The more common type of alimony awarded is temporary alimony, which is paid to one spouse to keep the household bill paid during the course of the divorce proceedings. Next, bridge-the-gap alimony could be awarded to a person to ease their transition from being married to being single; this type of spousal support is also temporary until the spouse can afford to live on their own. Bridge-the-gap is similar to lump-sum alimony, where a pre-agreed upon amount is paid at once or in installments but can’t be modified at any point.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to allow one spouse to become self-supporting. This type of spousal support is usually given to a spouse who has quit his or her job to become a full-time parent. The spouse may have been out of the workforce too long to return to it easily. Rehabilitative alimony allows the spouse time to acquire a new skill or go back to school to attain a degree in order to become self-supporting again.
Durational alimony is only awarded when permanent periodic alimony is not appropriate. Durational spousal is money offered to a party in order to provide economic aid for a set period of time after the end of a short or moderately long marriage. This type of alimony may be awarded if the couple was married for less than 17 years.
Last, permanent periodic alimony could be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities the standard of the marriage created on a more permanent basis. This type of spousal support is usually provided in marriages of longer duration (more than 17 years). Permanent periodic alimony will last until one of the spouses dies or the recipient spouse remarries.
Florida law allows the court to award 1 type or any combination of the types of alimony that are appropriate to the case. The judge who decides will consider the history of the marriage, the age of the parties, and the employment history and skills of the economically weaker spouse. In many cases, the court may decide not to award any spousal support at all. Its first priority is to determine each spouse’s actual need for and ability to pay for support obligations.
If you’re interested in whether or not you might be awarded or have to pay alimony, talk to one of our skilled Miami divorce attorneys. Mitchell & West LLC is dedicated to providing Florida families with compassionate and personalized family law representation. We understand this may be a stressful and emotional time for you and your family. Let us help you through this difficult period with skilled legal advocacy. Our attorneys work toward creating cost-effective solutions that are uniquely fitted to your situation. Let us work to achieve your goals.
Contact us at (305) 783-3301 or fill out our online form for a case consultation today.