Update to Florida Alimony Law

Alimony is essential to many people after their divorce. Otherwise known as spousal support, it can help people adjust to single life. Divorce can cause various financial issues. Each spouse will find themselves living on a single income. Often one of them will have a lower income or be unemployed. Alimony is intended to help a dependent spouse get back on his/her feet. In Florida Alimony Law, It can be a temporary, long-term, monthly or lump-sum payment. It sometimes has a set, short-term purpose such as helping someone back into employment. It can also be intended to help someone maintain the standard of living he/she had during the marriage. Our attorneys have a long and successful record of dealing with Florida alimony law cases.

Florida Alimony Law

Florida’s laws are changing all the time, including those related to family law. Specifically, reform of Florida alimony law is a hot topic for many families and legal professionals. Recently a 2016 bill to reform alimony laws was rejected. There have been other attempts at reform in previous years. In 2013 a bill known as the Alimony Reform Bill was approved by the Florida State Senate, but it was vetoed by Governor Scott. He rejected the bill because it would apply retroactively to past alimony orders. In 2016 he again rejected a bill involving alimony reform. This time it was due to a clause regarding child custody and timesharing.

Attempts to reform alimony in Florida involve several key areas of change. The most important one is that many legislators want to get rid of permanent alimony. Instead, all alimony would be limited to a set period. Another change people are lobbying for is set guidelines for alimony payments. They would be based on income and the duration of the marriage. Alimony reform has not come to pass yet, but it seems likely that it will happen in Florida within the next few years.

To understand alimony in Florida, it is important to be familiar with some key terms. If you ever need help with alimony issues, speak to one of our attorneys for answers to your questions. In the meantime, here are some essential definitions.

Short-term Marriage

The length of a marriage is an essential piece of information used to calculate alimony. §61.08(4) of the Florida Statutes defines three different lengths. The first one is a short-term marriage, a marriage of fewer than seven years. People exiting a short-term marriage might get a form of temporary alimony. In some cases, they could be eligible for permanent alimony. This would be due to something like having a disability that makes them unable to work.

Moderate-term Marriage

A moderate-term marriage has a duration of more than seven years but less than seventeen. Dissolving a moderate-term marriage could also result in an award of temporary alimony. Sometimes permanent alimony could also be awarded.

 Long-term Marriage

A long-term marriage is one lasting seventeen years or more. In this type of marriage, one spouse is more likely to get permanent alimony, but it won’t necessarily be awarded just because the marriage was long-term.

It’s also important to understand the definitions of various types of alimony. They can be long or short-term and serve different purposes. Have a look at the main kinds of alimony below to familiarize yourself with them.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent periodic alimony is intended to be permanent as its name suggests. It is most often awarded when a couple has dissolved a long-term marriage. Its purpose it to help both spouses maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage. Although it is meant to be permanent, it can be modified or stopped.

Durational Alimony

Durational alimony can be awarded after any length of marriage. Its purpose is to provide support for a set period. It can be terminated or modified if there is a change in circumstances.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-gap or transitional alimony is also temporary. Unlike other types of alimony, it has an additional caveat that it cannot last more than two years. It should help someone transition from being married to being single. It might help to pay for expenses such as moving home.

Rehabilitative Alimony

If one party needs help to get back into work, he/she may be eligible for rehabilitative alimony. It helps people get back on their feet by supporting them while they carry out a set plan. This plan might involve going back into education, completing training, or renewing professional credentials.

Call a Florida Alimony Attorney

Our experienced alimony attorneys have handled hundreds of alimony cases in Florida. Get in touch with us today to discuss your alimony issue and other aspects of your divorce.


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