You can think of this like child support, but for the husband or wife (depending on the circumstances). After a Florida divorce, you may be instructed to pay or be paid alimony for a certain amount of time. This is normally the case when one of the spouses earns significantly more than the other. The purpose is to help the other party maintain the marital lifestyle for a period of time after the divorce. This is also commonly the case when one of the spouses was a stay-at-home husband or wife.
Alimony in a Florida Divorce
In Florida, there are different types of alimony – five to be exact. They are as follows:
One or a combination of the above types of alimony may be awarded by the judge depending on the circumstances of the case. There are different ways alimony is paid out – it can be in one lump sum, monthly or less frequently.
It’s also possible for the husband and wife to form an agreement at the time of divorce, regarding the terms and conditions of alimony. It’s not uncommon for alimony to be given up entirely in exchange for a valuable piece of property, such as a business. The division of a marital business in a Florida divorce can get pretty complicated, so this is one way to avoid that.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the various types of alimony.
What is Temporary Alimony?
Another term for this type of alimony is “pendente lite,” which means that one spouse has to pay the other spouse until the pending divorce has been finalized. So the support payments begin during the divorce process. Once the divorce is final, temporary alimony automatically ends.
What is Bridge-the-Gap Alimony?
This type of alimony starts once a Florida divorce has been finalized, however it is short-term. In most cases, it doesn’t extend past two years. Bridge-the-gap alimony is normally awarded when the other party needs time to get on his or her feet. For instance, the husband may have to pay alimony to help the wife afford living expenses, while waiting for the house to sell or to complete an education course that would enable her to obtain gainful employment.
What is Rehabilitative Alimony?
Normally, this type of alimony is granted when the recipient is in the middle of training or taking educational courses in order to obtain employment. In order for this type of alimony to be granted, the recipient has to request it and supply an outline that dictates the amount of time and money needed for the plan to be achieved.
What is Durational Alimony?
It’s common for this sort of alimony to be awarded when other types of alimony aren’t sufficient enough to meet the needs of the recipient. In this case, the alimony has to be paid the same duration of the marriage. So if you were married for five years, then the alimony will last five years.
What is Permanent Alimony?
If the economic needs of the recipient is permanent, then it’s possible for them to receive permanent alimony. In order for this to be granted, the judge has to clarify why other types of alimony wouldn’t be fair or reasonable given the facts within that particular case. Permanent alimony is plausible when one of the spouses lacks the ability to support themselves at or above the marital standard.
What Factors Are Considered?
There are various factors that are considered when determining the need and ability to pay alimony. This is why it’s very important to have a divorce lawyer in West Palm Beach. Some of the factors are as follows:
- Financial resources available to the spouse requesting alimony
- All sources of income available to both spouses
- The earning capacity of both spouses
- The marital standard of living
- The length of the marriage
- The contributions made to the marriage by either spouse
- Tax consequences associated with the alimony award
- Responsibilities for any minor children both spouses will have