Currently, there are several different types of alimony in the state of Florida. If you are going through a divorce, understanding what options are available and what each type offers can be beneficial. The current options include:

Permanent Alimony

  • Temporary: This is designed to cover the needs of the non-income earning individual until their divorce is finalized.
  • Bridge the gap: This is created to help with short-term marriages (under seven years) and helps one spouse make the transition from being married to being single.
  • Rehabilitative: Is to ensure the non-working spouse can re-enter the work force and provides a specific plan for education.
  • Durational: Alimony that is for marriages that lasted seven to 17 years and cannot last longer than the marriage. Will provide compensation for the non-working spouse, but doesn’t last forever.
  • Permanent: Created for long-term marriages to provide support for the non-working spouse for the rest of their life.

The Elimination of Permanent Alimony

There is a bill in the Florida legislature that would eliminate permanent alimony for everyone, regardless of their situation. This legislation eliminates the existing designations for short-term marriages, moderate-term marriages, and long-term marriages. Instead, there are two formulas that would determine the upper and lower ranges allowed for alimony payments for the entire period it is ordered.

Marriages that lasted longer than 20 years will be able to receive alimony at the higher end of the formula, and marriages that lasted under 20 years would be at the lower end. There would also be the presumption that marriages that lasted under two years wouldn’t result in any alimony at all. Additionally, the bill states that permanent alimony would be eliminated completely. In situations where alimony was awarded, the length of time alimony is paid would be equivalent to three quarters of the length of the marriage.

What’s the Goal of the Bill?

The goal of this bill would be to ensure everyone, even spouses that relied on the other person during the course of their marriage, could eventually support themselves, regardless of the lifestyle they led while they were married. This means that if you are married and not currently working, it may be time to consider going back to work to increase your earning potential. The law won’t hold it against the other spouse for telling you to remain home while they work, increasing their earning potential while yours steadily declines. Additionally, there is no credit given to the spouse who is staying at home for the sacrifice they have made.

If you are facing a divorce and worried about whether or not you are going to be able to receive alimony, it is a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney. They can review the facts of your case and help you understand what you may potentially be entitled to with regards to alimony. If you need more information or would like to speak to someone about your situation, contact the divorce attorneys at the Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. by calling 305-358-2330.