What Is Alimony?

What Is Alimony?

January 1, 2019 Off By Glespynorson

Think of divorce, then think of alimony… well, in most cases. Alimony aims at providing assistance to the needier spouse in a divorce proceeding, it is not a punitive measure. Alimony is payment made by a spouse to their former significant other, usually the one more financially flush to the lower earner.

Alimony, also known as maintenance, can be a monthly payment or one lump payment during, or just before, the divorce. The alimony can be paid over a specified number of years, months, till death claims either party, or the dependent party remarries.

Maintenance is not meant for child support or other purposes aside from support of the recipient.

Types of Alimony in Florida

The various types of alimony in Florida can differ in terms of duration, amount and purpose. The specifics form is determined by several factors.

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  • Temporary alimony – as the name implies is awarded temporarily during the divorce proceedings up until a divorce decree is finalized. It may then be replaced by another type of alimony. This becomes necessary when one spouse is in need of financial assistance during the proceedings.
  • Bridge-the-gap Alimony – is temporary too, lasting not more than two years after the divorce process. Its aim is to assist the spouse in making the short-term adjustments from married to single. For instance, it could be to help him/her stay afloat while looking for accommodation or employment following the divorce. Bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified once it is approved.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony – is awarded to assist the lesser earning spouse to rehabilitate and bounce back on his/her feet. It could be for the purpose of helping such a spouse gain new or further education, acquire requisite skills or polish the old ones or gain certifications that will help the recipient earn income and get independent. It could be awarded on the grounds that the former marriage did not allow the recipient to pursue or further his/her career. The court must however be furnished with a concrete plan explaining how the money will be judiciously used. This award can be modified in the event that the recipient defaults.
  • Durational Alimony – comes into play following a marriage of less than 17 years or for long term marriages where permanent alimony is not applicable. Its aim is to provide a specific amount of financial succor to the recipient over a specific duration which must not be exceed the duration of the marriage. If there is a significant change in circumstances, the amount, but not the length of time, can be modified.
  • Permanent Alimony – aims to provide economic assistance to the party with certain needs who is unable to become as self-sufficient as he/she was during the marriage. It mostly occurs in middle to long term marriages though if sufficient need is proven, permanent alimony can even be awarded in short term marriages.

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In Florida law, certain factors influence the type of alimony awarded including the financial resources of the maintenance–seeking spouse, each party’s earning capacity, marital standard of living, all sources of income, and responsibilities of each party to their minor children.

For further details, contact Steven Winig, Esq. He is a highly experienced alimony attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida.