Without a prenuptial agreement providing for the terms of spousal support upon divorce, individuals need to contemplate the potential for paying alimony to their spouses. Under Florida Statutes Section 61.08, there are four types of alimony in Florida, which include:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony – this is awarded to provide one spouse with support to enable him or her to transition from being married to being single. It is payable to a spouse for legitimate, identifiable, short-term needs and may not exceed two years.
- Rehabilitative alimony – this is awarded to help one spouse establish the ability to support themselves through the redevelopment of education, skills, work experience or training. This is to be part of a specific and defined plan and is not intended to be a long-term obligation.
- Durational alimony – this is awarded to a spouse when permanent alimony is unwarranted, given the specific set of circumstances. This is paid to provide one spouse with economic assistance for a certain period of time following a marriage.
- Permanent alimony – this is awarded to provide for the necessities and needs of life as they were established during a marriage to a spouse who does not have the financial ability to meet their needs following a divorce. This type of support is typically awarded in cases involving long-term marriages (seventeen years or more). It is typically not appropriate in short-term marriages (less than seven years) and will be awarded only in a certain number of limited circumstances.
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