In Florida, an ex-spouse might be granted spousal support, or alimony, for a variety of reasons. There are several types of spousal support and each has specific characteristics. When deciding if spousal support will be granted, the court considers a group of factors. However, spouses can also create a spousal support agreement together and submit it to the court for approval.
Types of spousal support
The type of alimony granted depends on each couple’s situation and the needs of the receiving spouse. They include:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony which is paid to help the recipient transition into their new single life and is used to help them cover necessary costs, such as buying a car
- Rehabilitative alimony which is paid for a limited amount of time and is there to support recipients while they seek additional education
- Durational alimony which is paid for a set amount of time
- Permanent alimony which is paid until the recipient remarries or dies
- Lump sum alimony
Factors considered for alimony
When a court is deciding to grant alimony, there are several factors that will be considered. These include:
- The length of the marriage and the standard of living shared by the spouses
- The age and physical and mental condition of each spouse
- The spouses’ contributions to the marriage, including taking care of the home, raising children and supporting one spouse’s educational and career endeavors
- The earning potential for each spouse including the income they might receive from the assets granted to them
The purpose of alimony or spousal support is to ensure that the spouse who has less earning potential or no income at all when a marriage ends will not have to suffer through unnecessary hardships. The process begins once property has been divided since that will also be a factor.