Home » Blog » How Long Do Alimony Payments Last In Florida?
How Long Do Alimony Payments Last In Florida?
Are you getting a divorce in Florida? The court may order you or your spouse to pay alimony. Courts often order alimony if one spouse will be unable to support themselves after a divorce.
You may wonder how long alimony payments last. The answer: it depends. Courts account for a number of factors when deciding the length of alimony payments.
Who Pays Alimony in Florida?
All family law and divorce cases are unique. However, the spouse who earns the most money is typically the one who must pay alimony payments to the other spouse.
Other factors a court will consider when deciding whether alimony is necessary:
Access to additional financial support
Whether either spouse committed adultery
To maximize your chances of achieving a fair outcome in your alimony case, you should hire a qualified divorce attorney.
What Are the Types of Alimony in Florida?
Alimony can come in a variety of forms. They include:
Permanent alimony: This type of alimony involves indefinite payments. Permanent alimony payments typically don’t stop until the recipient spouse remarries or one of the spouses dies. A court may award permanent alimony to allow a spouse to maintain their quality of life after a divorce.
Durational alimony: With durational alimony, the court determines an appropriate length of time for one ex to make alimony payments to another.
Bridge-the-gap: Adjusting to life after divorce can be a struggle. A person may not be able to adapt to their new lifestyle right away. Bridge-the-gap alimony is short-term alimony that helps a person transition from marriage to singleness and financial independence. The maximum length of bridge-the-gap alimony is two years.
Rehabilitative: Rehabilitative alimony is similar to bridge-the-gap alimony. It helps someone remain financially secure while they take steps to reestablish their earning potential. This type of alimony is only available with a rehabilitative plan.
Florida courts may require a spouse to make a lump-sum payment or periodic payments as part of an alimony order. Sometimes, they determine that both are necessary.
How Florida Courts Decide How Long Alimony Payments Last
The length of a marriage is usually the most important factor in an alimony order. When courts award durational alimony, alimony payments can’t last longer than the length of the marriage.
Florida law defines a short-term marriage as one lasting less than seven years. A moderate-term marriage lasts at least seven years but fewer than 17 years. If a marriage lasts more than 17 years, it’s considered a long-term marriage.
Short-term marriages usually qualify for short-term forms of alimony, such as bridge-the-gap alimony. They sometimes qualify for durational alimony, depending on the circumstances. However, durational alimony will usually be awarded in divorces from a moderate-term or long-term marriage. Once more, payments for this form of alimony will not last longer than the marriage.
Permanent alimony is generally only awarded in cases involving long-term marriages. However, permanent alimony may be available in select divorces involving moderate-term marriages.
No two divorce cases are alike. Courts must review a range of circumstances and factors to decide if alimony is warranted. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure an alimony arrangement is fair.