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Understanding how spousal support works in Florida

Divorce impacts every aspect of a person’s life, but especially your emotions and your wallet.

Before you get too far into the process of separating from your spouse, understand how spousal support in Florida could affect your bottom line.

Types of alimony

In Florida, there are five types of alimony:

  • temporary
  • bridge-the-gap
  • durational
  • rehabilitative
  • permanent

Temporary alimony is for spouses in need during the divorce process. The requesting spouse must demonstrate a financial need to the court and prove that the other spouse has the funds to pay. These payments end when your divorce becomes finalized.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is also temporary and cannot happen for more than two years. The intention of this support is to aid the recipient spouse while transitioning from married to single life. Rehabilitative support assists one spouse as he or she re-enters the workforce. Durational support is similar to rehabilitative support but with a predetermined time limit that cannot exceed the length of the marriage.

Permanent alimony is rarely awarded. These cases typically involve one spouse who cannot support their financial needs. This is typically granted if your spouse is elderly, disabled or caring for a dependent child with special needs.

How to qualify

Whether you are the husband or wife, a court may grant you alimony if you demonstrate a need and your spouse can pay. The judge will then consider:

  • each party’s finances
  • the marital standard of living
  • each party’s age and health
  • the length of the marriage
  • each party’s marital contributions
  • parental responsibilities

There are several methods of obtaining spousal support in Florida, most of which are temporary.