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How Long Does Alimony Last in Florida?

The concept of alimony has evolved over time. Today, the court will focus on one party’s need for alimony and the other party’s ability to pay. Before the court grants any one spouse alimony or any kind of support, several factors are taken into consideration, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The health and age of the parties
  • The earning capacity of each party
  • Any other factors deemed appropriate

Alimony Attorney FloridaThe Florida courts have now defined what constitutes a long-term, medium-term, and short-term marriage, which greatly affects the duration and amount of alimony amounts granted.

So how long does alimony last in the state of Florida?

The answer to this question isn’t black and white. We hate to say, “it depends”, but it’s more or less true. Florida law provides that the court may grant one of four types of alimony (or a combination thereof).

Here are the four types of alimony explained in more detail:

Permanent Periodic Alimony (“PPA”)

This is the home run of alimony—if you are the one seeking it, of course. It is usually paid monthly during the recipient’s lifetime or until he or she remarries—whichever happens first. This means that PPA can last longer than the length of the marriage.

Recently, Florida defined a “long-term marriage” as one in excess of 17 years. There is a presumption that PPA is appropriate in long-term marriages if the court decides it is appropriate after reviewing the alimony factors listed in Florida Statute 61.08. PPA may be granted in moderate-term marriages (defined as 7 to 17 years) only if based on “clear and convincing” evidence. PPA may be granted in short-term marriages (less than 7 years) only in “exceptional circumstances.”

PPA may be terminated or modified if there is a “substantial change in circumstances”, the recipient gets remarried or if he or she enters into a “supportive relationship”.

Durational Alimony (“DA”)

DA may be granted for moderate-term marriages. The court may grant DA after consideration of the statute’s factors and may only be granted for a specified length of time, which in no instance can be longer than the marriage.

Bridge the Gap Alimony (“BGA”)

BGA may be granted in short-term marriages and is intended to provide a short period of financial assistance that allows a spouse to transition from married life to becoming single. It is generally granted when younger spouses are involved.

If BGA is granted, the duration cannot exceed two years. Additionally, once it is granted, then neither the duration nor amount may be modified.

Rehabilitative Alimony (“RA”)

RA may be granted for a limited duration and its purpose is to provide financial assistance to a spouse who was never in or is long-removed from the workforce.

In order to receive RA, the recipient spouse must present to the court a rehabilitative plan. Such a plan may include enrollment in training or school in order to get back into the workforce as soon as possible. RA is generally granted for a period of a few years or the amount of time necessary to complete a training or education program.

One final note you should consider is that if you are the one seeking alimony or some form of spousal support, then it’s important to know that you will not automatically be granted alimony simply because your ex makes more money than you do.

Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney Florida

To get more detailed answers on alimony amounts and duration, you should contact a family law attorney. He or she will be able to provide you answers specific to your unique situation. Plus, you will get the help and experience you need to make sure your rights are protected throughout your divorce proceedings.

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135 San Lorenzo Avenue, Suite 650
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
Fax: 305-234-7028
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