Recently, a new law went into place in Florida that codifies presumptions for awarding alimony or any kind of spousal maintenance and support as part of a divorce settlement. The new law divides spousal support into three categories.
Short-term marriages: Defined as seven years or less. Except under special circumstances, there will be no presumption that permanent spousal maintenance should be awarded to either party.
Moderate-term marriages: Defined as seven to 16 years. For moderate-term marriages, there is no presumption that alimony should or should not be awarded. A court will take into account several statutory factors in determining whether an award of alimony is appropriate.
Long-term marriages: Defined as more than 17 years. There is an assumption that permanent alimony will be awarded to a spouse who has the need for such alimony, and the other spouse has the ability to pay spousal maintenance. The burden is on the spouse with the ability to pay alimony to prove that the other spouse does NOT require any spousal support after dissolution.
Types of Alimony
Florida family law judges consider four types of alimony in their decisions.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: A court may find that a spouse needs support to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to provide for this transition, and is available to a spouse for a period no longer than 2 years.
- Rehabilitative alimony: Sometimes, a spouse may need to develop skills to become self-supporting after a divorce. Rehabilitative alimony may be available to a spouse who needs education or training to financially support themselves after a divorce.
- Durational alimony: Durational alimony is designed to provide support to a spouse of a short or moderate duration marriage after divorce for a set period of time. The court will use factors under Florida statutes in determining whether durational alimony is appropriate.
- Permanent maintenance: Generally awarded in cases of a dissolution of a long-term marriage, in cases where one spouse will face a distinct financial hardship as a result of the loss of income from the other spouse. The spouse awarded permanent alimony will continue to receive the monthly payments for life, or until remarriage.
The courts recognize that financial circumstances change in people's lives. In the event of a job loss, a serious medical problem or other contributing factors, the courts may approve of a modification to the original alimony judgment.
Altamonte Springs Spousal Support Attorney
If spousal maintenance will be an important factor in your pending divorce in Central Florida, schedule a consultation with a Florida divorce lawyer at Salfi & Sprysenski, P.A., in Altamonte Springs. We are recognized as one of the Orlando area's pre-eminent names in Florida divorce and family law. Founding partner Dominick Salfi is a former family law judge with experience handling divorce and alimony matters in courts in Orange County, Seminole County, Osceola County, Lake County, Brevard County and Volusia County.
From anywhere in Central Florida, call us toll free at 866-583-0170 or contact us by e-mail to arrange a consultation with an experienced Orlando alimony attorney at our firm today.