April 27, 2018

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Does How Long I Have Been Married Affect my Alimony?

Under Florida law there are five different types of alimony: temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent. Alimony usually consists of periodic payments from one spouse to the other, but sometimes it can be a single lump sum payment.

Due to changes in the Florida Divorce Statutes, the law relating to alimony has been affected.

Marriages are now in three different groups; long term marriages, which are more than 17 years, short term marriages which are less than 7 years, and moderate term marriages which are more than 7 years but less than 17 years.

However, someone who has been married less than seven years may still be awarded alimony but it is unlikely that permanent alimony will be awarded unless there are very unusual or compelling circumstances. A spouse in a short term marriage is more likely to qualify for bridge the gap or rehabilitative alimony, if any alimony is awarded.

Bridge the gap alimony begins after the divorce is final but it only lasts for a maximum of two years with its aim being to help the spouse who receives the alimony to meet short terms needs, such as waiting for the home to sell

Rehabilitative alimony is in order to help the recipient to acquire education or training needed for a specific job.

The factors that determine whether one spouse will pay the other spouse alimony, what kind of alimony, how much, and for how long depend on each individual case. Your attorney will need to know the ability of you and your spouse to earn income, and any other financial information.  Your attorney can then prepare legal arguments which will help to convince the judge that you should receive alimony.