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  • By: Mireya Lacayo, Esq.
  • Published: March 22, 2022
Florida Alimony – What Kinds Of Alimony Am I Eligible For?

Florida Statute Section 61.08

Since 1980, Section 61.08 Florida Statutes has provided the statutory authority for a court to award a spouse alimony in a divorce proceeding. Most recently amended in 2012, Florida’s alimony laws provide five distinct forms of alimony that may be awarded. The Statute additionally provides specific language identifying appropriate alimony remedies.

Today, (03.22.2022) the types of alimony available are temporarybridge-the-gaprehabilitativedurational, and permanent. Alimony awards can be paid periodically, as a lump sum payment, or both.

How Will The Court Determine My Eligibility For Alimony?

Section 61.08(2) Florida Statutes instructs Courts to a multi-step analysis in determining whether an alimony award is appropriate. First, the Court must make a specific, factual determination as to whether there is an actual need for alimony, and whether the paying spouse has the ability to pay alimony.

If the Court finds there is both a need for alimony and the payor spouse has the ability to pay, then the Court considers all relevant factors (can be found here) to help determine the proper type and amount of alimony to be awarded. After consideration of all relevant factors, the Court then determines the type of alimony, if any, should be awarded.

Types Of Alimony

  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony:
    • Bridge-the-Gap alimony is as it sounds… this alimony is awarded to assist a spouse in their transition from married life, to single life. To make a finding of bridge-the-gap alimony, evidence must be presented that shows a receiving spouse has an identifiable short-term need.
    • The length of an award of bridge-the-gap alimony shall not exceed two years. Additionally, an award of bridge-the-gap alimony shall not be modifiable, neither in amount, nor duration.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony:
    • Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to assist the receiving spouse establish their ability to support oneself financially. Usually, a receiving spouse is awarded rehabilitative alimony to redevelop skills previously had, or to complete schooling/training to develop new skills that would aid their financial self-support. For an order of rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan to be included in any order awarding rehabilitative alimony.
    • Unlike bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony may be modified or terminated based on the following scenarios:
      • A substantial change in circumstances has occurred
      • If the recipient is noncompliant with the rehabilitative plan, or
      • If the rehabilitative plan has been completed.
  • Durational Alimony:
    • Durational alimony is awarded to provide the receiving spouse with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short (less than 7 years) or moderate length (greater than 7 years, less than 17). An award of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.
    • Durational alimony awards are only partially modifiable. The amount of a durational alimony award may be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances.
  • Permanent Alimony: SUBJECT TO CHANGE
    • In ordering permanent alimony, the Court must first make two findings. First, that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Second, that the length of the marriage (17 years or more) indicates a presumption either for or against the requesting spouse. For now, a long term marriage creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of awarding permanent alimony to a requesting spouse.
    • As Of July 1, 2023, Permanent Alimony Is No Longer Available And Has Been Eliminated.
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