is money paid by an individual to his or her former spouse to help offset the financial burden of the divorce. Generally, it is meant to protect the spouse who earned less money during the marriage from suffering financially in the months and years that follow the divorce. Often, but not always, it is awarded because the spouse who earned less chose to work part time or not at all to devote him- or herself to the couple’s children and household.
In Florida, there are six types of alimony. Below is a brief explanation of each.
Temporary alimony is awarded while a couple’s divorce is pending. When the couple’s divorce is finalized, the alimony order in their settlement replaces the temporary alimony order.
Bridge the Gap Alimony
Bridge the gap alimony is awarded for a short period of time following the couple’s divorce. It is meant to help the lesser earning spouse transition financially from being married to living as a single person. It may not be awarded for a period longer than two years. To receive this type of alimony, an individual must show that he or she has legitimate short term financial needs that the alimony would alleviate.
If one spouse did not work during the couple’s marriage, rehabilitative alimony may be awarded as a short term safety net while he or she prepares to reenter the workforce. In order to receive rehabilitative alimony, the individual seeking it must provide the court with a plan for seeking self-sufficiency, which could involve obtaining a college degree or vocational training.
Lump Sum Alimony
When a couple agrees to a specific alimony amount, the alimony payment is known as lump sum alimony. Despite its name, this type of alimony can be paid in installments or as one lump sum. When a lump sum alimony order is created, it cannot be modified.
Permanent Periodic Alimony
When many people think of alimony, they think of permanent periodic alimony. This type of alimony is meant for individuals who realistically cannot return to the workforce after their divorces. It is reserved for couples who were married for 17 years or longer, though a long marriage does not guarantee that an individual will be awarded permanent alimony in his or her divorce settlement. When an individual receives permanent periodic alimony, it continues until his or her remarriage or until either spouse dies.
Durational alimony is similar to permanent periodic alimony, but it is meant for marriages that lasted fewer than 17 years. Durational alimony payments cannot exceed the length of the couple’s marriage.
Work with Our Team of Experienced Divorce Lawyers at Draper Law Office
Alimony can be a complicated subject. To learn more about alimony and the different types available in Florida before you file for divorce, set up a consultation with a member of Draper Law Office. You can reach us online or by calling (866) 767-4711 today.