Is Alimony (Spousal Support) available for me in Florida?
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Written by Norman A. Green
The following are the four categories of alimony available that the Court may award:
Bridge the Gap Alimony.
This alimony award is intended for short term marriages in which you need financial assistance to transition from married to single life. You must have legitimate identifiable short – term needs for this award. This alimony can only be awarded for a period of up to two years. This will terminate on the death of either party or the your remarriage. You cannot modify the amount or the length of time awarded by the Court.
This form of alimony is designed to assist you in developing the ability to contribute to your own support. It may include redevelopment of prior skills/credentials or acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to development employment skills/credentials.
You would have to present a specific and defined rehabilitation plan. There is no specified length of time requirement but there must be an end date. This alimony can be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances, if you don’t comply with the plan adopted by the Court, or upon your completion of the rehabilitation plan.
The Court can award this form of alimony when permanent periodic alimony as discussed below is not appropriate. Durational alimony is designed to provide economic support for a set time if your marriage is of a short or moderate term or if you have a long-term marriage and the Court finds that there is no ongoing need for permanent support. The length of the award may not exceed the length of the marriage and may only be modified based on exceptional circumstances. The amount awarded is modifiable based on a substantial change in circumstances. This alimony will terminate on the death of either party or the your remarriage.
This form of alimony is intended to provide for your “needs and necessities” if you lack the financial ability to meet your own “needs and necessities”. This award is available for long- term marriages after applying certain statutory factors, if appropriate. Permanent alimony may be awarded if you have a moderate-term marriage based on clear and convincing evidence after consideration of statutory factors. This alimony may be available if you have a short-term marriage and the Court makes written findings of exceptional circumstances. The Court must also make a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the particular circumstances of your marriage. This alimony will also terminate on your death, the death of your paying spouse, or your remarriage. Permanent alimony may also be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances or in the event you enter into a supportive relationship with another person.
Norman A. Green is the founder and a partner of Green & Metcalf - Attorneys At Law. He has over 40 years of experience in the practice fields of criminal defense and family law (divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, modifications of existing orders, prenuptial agreements and alimony cases).