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The four types of alimony in Florida

In the state of Florida alimony is categorized into four types. They are called durational, rehabilitative, permanent and bridge-the-gap. What type is awarded by the courts is generally dependent on the length of the marriage before the dissolution took place and the financial needs and abilities of both parties.

Payments may be made in either a lump sum or periodic payments on a schedule. In some instances the court may determine that they payments should be a combination. Before any determination of the type of alimony and amount can take place the court must first determine whether either party requires alimony and if so whether the other party is financially capable of making an alimony payment.

Generally, in making that determination, the court will take into account the couple's standard of living while they were married as well as how long the couple has been married. It will also take into consideration the age of each spouse at the dissolution of the marriage as well as their physical and emotional condition.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is typically awarded to a spouse for a period that may not exceed two years. It is designed to help allow a party transition from being married to being single and as such it is a short term measure. Once awarded it is permanent and may not be amended in duration or amount. The payment of bridge-the-gap alimony can terminate prior to the two years if either party dies or if the party that is receiving alimony remarries.

When either party is in need of assistance in establishing a renewed capacity of self-support the court will typically award rehabilitative alimony. This is typically acquired through reaccreditation or redevelopment of previous skills or knowledge or education or training to acquire the necessary skills to gain employment. A rehabilitative alimony award must accompany a specific plan that outlines the specific skills or accreditation that is to be acquired by the party. Once awarded it can be terminated or even modified if either of the parties experiences a considerable change in their circumstances or if they do not comply.

Durational alimony is awarded when a party requires assistance only for a specific amount of time after the dissolution of marriages that are shorter in duration. It may also be awarded after the dissolution of a long term marriage if support on a permanent basis is not needed.

Our firm has extensive experience in assisting clients with matters concerning alimony. For more information, visit our alimony webpage.

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