Our state recognizes more than one type of spousal support. Under Florida Title VI: Civil Practice and Procedure Section 61.08, a judge presiding over the dissolution of a marriage can award a spouse permanent, bridge-the-gap, durational or rehabilitative alimony. Judges can also order the paying spouse to make either lump-sum or periodic payments or a combination thereof. Certain conditions must be met in order for the courts to award these different types of alimony.
Permanent alimony might be awarded if the recipient spouse doesn’t have the financial means to provide for their own basic needs. For a spouse to receive permanent support, they generally will have to have been married for an extended period to the payor spouse. There are, however, extenuating circumstances in which those who have been married for only a short time may also qualify for permanent payments.
Spousal support of this type is awarded to the recipient spouse to help them afford specific short-term needs as they transition from being married to being single. It’s intended to last nomore than two years. The amount of bridge-the-gap alimony that a spouse pays cannot be modified nor can the recipient receive it for longer than two years.
A spouse who doesn’t qualify for permanent alimony may qualify for durational spousal support. A paying husband or wife is able to petition a judge to modify the amount that they owe as their financial circumstances change. However, the timeframe in which they’re required to make the payments generally cannot be reduced.
Spouses who need to complete additional education, work experience or training in order to rejoin the workforce in their chosen career may petition a judge for rehabilitative alimony.
The court will generally require the recipient spouse to have an established roadmap for the duration and type of training they’ll need in order to qualify for this type of spousal support.
State guidelines aid Fort Myers family law courts in deciding whether to grant alimony awards. Extenuating circumstances and a judge’s own personal discretion may factor into the type of spousal support that’s awarded and the amount. Your family law attorney can help you better understand the different types of spousal support and whether you may qualify for them.