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How alimony works in Florida

Alimony is defined as a periodic or lump sum payment made from one party in a divorce to the other party. This alimony may be be granted by the court for one of several reasons including rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, durational, permanent, or any combination of these reasons. Whether or not alimony is awarded is determined by the court's consideration of adultery or other circumstances such as the standard of living, marriage duration, age of parties, income and financial resources of each party, earning capacities, financial and non-financial contributions, and responsibilities to minor children in common.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is given strictly as a temporary measure and may not exceed 2 years. It is determined by the courts with the purpose of assisting one party in the divorce to make a transition from being married to being single. It terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient of alimony or upon the death of either party.

Rehabilitative alimony is often given to help one party establish his or her capacity for self-support. This is often given to parties whose main contribution to the marriage was non-financial such as home maintenance or child care but who upon the end of the marriage must support themselves through gainful employment. The amount of this alimony is determined by the cost of education and training to achieve the necessary credentials.

Both of these types of alimony are known as durational alimony. Permanent alimony is given if the courts determine that one party truly lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs following the divorce. It is often given in marriages of very long duration. A Florida divorce lawyer may be able to assist parties in drafting an alimony agreement. Divorce lawyers work both with couples seeking an amicable divorce or with individuals in contention who need to argue their separate cases before a court of law.

Source: Online Sunshine, "The 2014 Florida Statutes", August 07, 2014

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