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How Long do I get Alimony for in Florida?

alimony in FloridaIf you have made up your mind to divorce in 2017, you are no doubt worried about how it is going to affect your financial life if you are the spouse that makes less money. Even if you are the spouse that is more financially secure, you may be worried because you do not know how much money you will pay your ex-spouse in alimony.

In Florida, the length of time for which you can pay or receive alimony will depend on different things, but mostly it depends on the financial status of the receiving spouse and the time that the marriage lasted. Basically, it can go from temporary alimony granted to one spouse as the divorce proceedings take place to permanent alimony for couples who have been married for a long time.

The law in the state of Florida has a provision for five types of alimony, and they all cater for different lengths of time. It is in your best interest to know about them so that you know where you stand as you plan to divorce in 2017.

Here they are:

Permanent alimony – receiving spouse has no financial capability

If your marriage lasted at least 17 years or one spouse is not capable of being self-reliant, you can apply to get alimony for life, also called permanent alimony. This type of alimony is awarded so that the receiving spouse can continue living at the same or as close to the standard of life that he/she was accustomed to in the marriage as possible.

Just because you were married for many years does not mean that you will automatically get permanent alimony. The judge will consider whether your monetary needs will be permanent, but when awarding the alimony, he/she must state facts why another form of alimony would not have been fitting. The main purpose of permanent alimony is to sustain a spouse who does not have the capability to become self-reliant.

Temporary alimony – length of the divorce proceedings

This is awarded to the requesting ex-spouse for the time that the divorce proceedings will take to be completed. Once the final divorce orders are entered by the court, the temporary alimony stops and the court may decree that another type of alimony be paid or that there be no alimony at all.

Bridge-the-gap alimony – not more than two years

When the court orders this kind of alimony to be paid to an ex-spouse, then the payment must not run for more than two years. This alimony is awarded to one ex-spouse as a means to help them get on their feet. Please note that once the orders have been entered by the court, there can be no modifications whatsoever. Two years only – remember that.

Rehabilitative alimony – no defined amount of time, depends on the program

This kind of alimony is awarded to an ex-spouse who needs to acquire some skills to help them get set up in life. Therefore, there is no specific length of time, but the requesting ex-spouse will have to submit a plan showing how long they will need the alimony for, what they plan to do, how much time it will take to do it, and all the costs that are associated with the program. If the receiving spouse does not comply with the plan, the alimony payment may end, but naturally it will end as soon as the training or education program is completed.

Durational alimony – no specified amount of time

This is the kind of alimony awarded when the judge cannot award permanent or rehabilitative alimony. As its name suggests, it runs for a certain duration of time, and the receiving ex-spouse does not have to present a rehabilitative program. Usually, this kind of alimony is awarded when the marriage had run for only moderate or short-term periods. The requesting ex-spouse includes the time that he/she would like to receive the alimony, but the court awards what the judge thinks is fair.

Read: Financial mistakes you should avoid during divorce

Consult a professional Miami divorce attorney

If you intend to request alimony, then you should know everything about it. You can consult with a Florida family attorney to explain the entire divorce process to you. They will also explain to you about all the types of alimony that you can be awarded or be ordered to pay in the state of Florida.

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