Brown & Rice, PA
2003 Curry Ford Rd
Orlando, FL 32806
Alimony - also known as spousal support - is awarded by the divorce court in certain cases when it is necessary for one spouse to maintain a similar standard of living after divorce. Whether the court awards alimony is dependent on three factors: the length of the marriage, the appropriate type of alimony (there are currently 5 types of alimony in Florida), and the judge's discretion. Alimony may be ordered in periodic payments (i.e. monthly), lump sum (one time payment), or a combination of both.
Our Orlando divorce lawyers understand Florida alimony laws. We'll fight for you if you're eligible to alimony or vigorously defend you if you are being asked to pay alimony. Call us at (407) 956-2172 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.
Florida alimony law authorizes alimony awards in divorce cases depending on the length of the marriage. Generally, generally speaking, longer marriages are more likely to be subject to alimony, particularly longer-term forms of alimony. The marriage length categories established by Florida alimony law are below. Because of the number of statutory factors involved, it's important to discuss your particular marriage with an attorney to determine whether alimony may apply to your divorce case.
Short-term Marriage: A marriage of fewer than seven years.
Moderate-term Marriage: A marriage of at least seven years but fewer than seventeen years.
Long-term Marriage: A marriage of at least seventeen years.
There are four types of alimony authorized by Florida law:
Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony is awarded from one party in a divorce to the other to help the receiving party transition from married life to single life. There is a satutory cap of two years. Bridge-the gap alimony cannot be modified after it is ordered and it terminates upon death of either spouse.
Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is intended to help the receiving party establish the skills, training, and/or education necessary to become self sufficient after divorce. It is ordered based on a specific educational or rehabilitative plan (i.e. the receiving spouse is to enroll in college to obtain a degree needed for a career). This type of alimony may be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances or the receiving party does not comply with the rehabilitation plan.
Durational alimony: This type of alimony is meant to provide support after divorce for a limited period of time. The period of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage. It is generally for short or moderate duration marriages where there is a need for economic support. It may be awarded in long-term marriages if there is no need for permanent support. Durational alimony terminates upon death of either spouse or when the receiving party remarries. It may be modified as to amount when there is a significant change in circumstances, but can only be modified as to length in exceptional circumstances (still never exceeding the length of the marriage).
Permanent alimony: Permanent alimony is ongoing until the death of either party or the remarriage of the receiving party. It may only be ordered if none of the other forms of alimony are determined to be fair and reasonable based on the circumstances of the particular case. It may be modified based on a substantial change in circumstances or if the receiving party enters a "supportive relationship". Permanent alimony is most likely to be ordered in long-term marriage divorces and very unlikely in short-term marriage divorces.
For more information about alimony and how the Florida alimony law applies to your divorce case. Contact our Orlando divorce lawyers at (407) 956-2172 to schedule a free consultation.
Brown & Rice, P.A., serves clients in the Orlando, Florida, area, including the cities of Kissimmee, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Winter Springs, Longwood, Sanford, Deltona, Davenport, Lake Buena Vista, Deland, Daytona Beach, Mt. Dora, Ocala, Belleview, St. Cloud, Poinciana, Lake Mary, Apopka, Clermont, Maitland, Windermere, Heathrow, Lake Nona and Oviedo, as well as Orange County, Seminole County, Volusia County, Marion County, Lake County, and Osceola County.