Understanding the types of alimony in a Florida divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Divorce

Every year, thousands of couples divorce in the Sunshine State. One major concern you may have when considering divorce or amid a divorce is whether you will be paying or receiving alimony.

The answer to this question depends on your unique situation. Learning about the different types of alimony and when they are awarded can help you better understand what may happen in your case.

Temporary alimony

In divorce proceedings, the court may award temporary alimony to help a financially dependent spouse cover their living expenses. This alimony ends upon the finalization of a divorce.

Bridge-the-gap alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony helps make the transition from married to single life easier on one spouse. It has a relatively short duration of no more than two years. This alimony addresses specific short-term needs, such as living expenses while awaiting the sale of a marital home.

Rehabilitative alimony

A Florida family court may grant rehabilitative alimony to a spouse who needs financial assistance while acquiring the skills or education necessary for self-support. The intention is to provide support for those who are working on being independent. A party must present a detailed education or training plan to qualify.

Durational alimony

Durational alimony is provided to a financially dependent spouse following a marriage of less than 17 years. It is meant to offer economic assistance for a specific amount of time, not surpassing the length of the marriage.

Permanent periodic alimony

As the name implies, permanent alimony is a type of long-term support. The state awards permanent alimony in marriages that have lasted longer than 17 years. It helps ensure that one spouse is able to maintain the same standard of living they had during the marriage.

Lump-sum alimony

As a one-time payment, lump sum alimony is used to help equalize property division. It can be paid in cash, property or a combination of these. Unlike other types of alimony, there are no additional payments required.

Nominal alimony

When a spouse needs financial assistance but the other spouse cannot afford to pay, the court may order a nominal amount (often as low as $1) as alimony. This allows the receiving spouse to petition for modifications in the future when the payer’s financial situation improves.

Anyone considering or going through a divorce can benefit from understanding the various types of alimony in Florida. It can provide you with a good idea of the amount and duration you receive or have to pay alimony.