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How does alimony work in the state of Florida?

You are getting a divorce and you want to know what your financial picture will look like when all is complete. Planning ahead is good, particularly if you are not sure if your dissolution settlement will include an alimony order. In the state of Florida, the awarding of alimony certainly is a possibility; however, every divorce case is different, and there are no guarantees that a judge will award it.

Regardless of whether you are on the potential receiving or paying end, it is good to know how spousal support works. The purpose of alimony is to help the spouse who has been the lower-wage-earner during the marriage get on his or her feet financially. Usually, a judge only awards this on a temporary basis, but Florida does allow for the awarding of permanent alimony in select cases.

Five different types of spousal support

The state of Florida recognizes five different types of alimony. They are:

  • Lump sum
  • Rehabilitative
  • Durational
  • Bridge-the-gap
  • Permanent

Any paying spouse who has the means to pay his or her support obligation outright may do so with a lump-sum payment; otherwise, people typically pay alimony monthly. Rehabilitative, duration and bridge-the-gap support orders are for those cases where one spouse needs support for a relatively short period of time. Permanent alimony, on the other hand, is where one spouse supports the other for the rest of his or her life -- unless a reason to cancel the obligation arises.

Determining who gets alimony

As previously stated, the court does not award spousal support in every divorce case. There are certain factors that the court will look at before determining if it is appropriate in your case. Some of these factors include:

  • Marriage length
  • Standard of living
  • Special physical and emotional needs of each spouse
  • Age
  • Income/earning capacity of each spouse
  • Services rendered by a dependent spouse

A lot of people think that spousal support is just a part of divorce. It does not have to be and will not be if the court determines that both spouses are financially secure enough to move on without it.

Wonder if alimony might be an issue in your divorce case?

When it comes to alimony, it is all about the details. Legal counsel will have the ability to comb through the details of your case and let you know if paying or receiving support may be in your future. Further assistance is available in fighting for or against an alimony order.

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