Types of Alimony

Orlando Alimony Attorneys

Florida Statute Section 61.08 identifies four types of Alimony:
  1. Permanent Alimony,
  2. Durational Alimony,
  3. Rehabilitative Alimony, and
  4. Bridge-the-gap Alimony.
The Florida statutes outline some of the factors the court considers when awarding alimony, including, but not limited to the following:
  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  • The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  • When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
  • All sources of income available to either party.
For purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is awarded, if at all, to a spouse in a long-term marriage (usually a marriage of 17 years or longer) who may need support to maintain his or her standard or living, when said spouse shows a need and the other spouse has an ability to pay. Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration, following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short duration if there are exceptional circumstances. An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14.

Durational Alimony

Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration. An award of durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. The amount of an award of durational alimony may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances in accordance with s. 61.14. However, the length of an award of durational alimony may not be modified except under exceptional circumstances and may not exceed the length of the marriage.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded, if at all, to a spouse who may be able to become self-sufficient if he or she gains further education in a trade or post-secondary institution. This type of alimony is sometimes awarded to a spouse who has sacrificed his or her own career in an effort to support the other spouse’s schooling or career. The spouse requesting rehabilitative alimony may be successful in having it established, when said spouse was child rearing, was a home-maker, and/or worked while putting the other spouse through school. Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either: 1.The redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or 2.The acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials. (b) In order to award rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan which shall be included as a part of any order awarding rehabilitative alimony. (c) An award of rehabilitative alimony may be modified or terminated in accordance with s. 61.14 based upon a substantial change in circumstances, upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.

Lump Sum Alimony

(not really a type of alimony, but how the alimony is paid) Lump Sum alimony is awarded, if at all, to a spouse that may be unable to collect permanent or temporary alimony because the other spouse may flee the courts’ jurisdiction or the divorce is so contentious that the Court may determine it is in the best interest of both parties to reduce or eliminate the need for future interaction between the parties, and said alimony is necessary to sustain the standard or living achieved during the marriage.

Bridge the Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony shall not be modifiable in amount or duration.