Alimony is awarded in divorce cases to ensure that spouses who did not work when they were married or only worked part time are able to support themselves after the marriage ends. In Florida, there are several forms of alimony for family law judges to choose from. One common type of spousal support is temporary alimony, which is awarded to help spouses to cover their bills during the divorce process. It ends when the divorce is finalized, but some other types of alimony continue after the couple has separated.
Bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony
Florida also allows judges to order what is known as bridge-the-gap spousal support. This is similar to temporary alimony, but it lasts until the spouses have recovered financially from a divorce. It may be paid until marital assets, such as real estate, are sold and the proceeds divided.
Rehabilitative alimony is the type of spousal support most often awarded in Florida. It is designed to help spouses prepare for single life, and it is paid while they undergo training, receive education or gain on-the-job experience.
Durational and permanent alimony
Durational support is similar to rehabilitative alimony, but the spouses who receive it are not required to submit rehabilitation plans to the court. It lasts for a set period of time that cannot be longer than the marriage lasted. Permanent alimony is rarely awarded in Florida, and judges only consider it when it is clear that spouses will not be able to support themselves in the future. Permanent alimony may be ordered when spouses are too old to work or have a disability or medical condition that prevents them from working.
Negotiations over spousal support often become contentious, but these arguments may be avoided if couples enter into prenuptial agreements. Experienced family law attorneys may draft prenuptial agreements that are fair and meet the needs of the spouses involved. Attorneys may also argue on behalf of their clients in court if these agreements are challenged during divorce proceedings.