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What type of alimony may be awarded by the court?

Every Florida resident is different from one another. It comes as no surprise then that every marriage is also unique, as couples find themselves facing different challenges, standards of living and other issues. And, of course, because every marriage is different, so too is every divorce.

These differences can impact how the issues in the divorce are resolved. For instance, last week this blog discussed the different factors that are considered by the court when it is determining whether to award alimony, and how much alimony might be awarded.

In considering these factors, the court has the power to order different kinds of spousal support. For instance, short-term alimony like bridge-the-gap alimony can be awarded to allow a spouse to transition from the marriage to being single. This type of alimony looks at the short-term needs of the person, and typically it cannot go beyond two years in duration.

Rehabilitative alimony, on the other hand, can be awarded to help a party become more self-supporting through the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials, or the acquisition of the necessary training, education or work experience to develop those skills. For instance, if there is a rehabilitative plan where a person is going to pursue an education in order to land a certain career, rehabilitative alimony during this time might be appropriate.

The court can also order durational alimony or permanent alimony. Durational alimony may be appropriate in situations where permanent alimony is not, such as where a person needs economic assistance for a set period of time after the divorce.

Permanent alimony, meanwhile, can be awarded where an individual lacks the ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life that were established during the marriage. This type of alimony typically is awarded only if the marriage was of a sufficiently long duration.

Source: Florida Legislature, "61.08 Alimony," accessed on Oct. 1, 2016

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