Like most states, the awarding of alimony in Florida depends on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, contribution to the marriage (both financial and non-financial), education level of both spouses, employability of both spouse, and more.
Florida has four different types of alimony: permanent, lump sum, rehabilitative and bridge the gap. Following are the likely scenarios for each:
Permanent or lump sum alimony. If a couple has been married for more than 17 years and one spouse has been the sole source of income during the marriage, it is likely that permanent alimony will be awarded to the non-working spouse. Florida courts recognize the contribution of maintaining a home and raising children by a non-working spouse, who will likely have difficulty re-entering the workforce after so many years of being absent. Judges will most likely award either permanent or a lump sum alimony in recognition of the contribution of the non-working spouse to a long-term marriage.
Rehabilitative alimony. If a couple has been married longer than 10 years and one spouse sacrificed an educational or employment opportunity to support the other spouse, then rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to help educate or train the supporting spouse so he or she can become self-supporting.
Bridge the gap alimony. If a couple has been married for less than 10 years, then bridge the gap alimony may be awarded to help a spouse move from married to single life. This type of alimony is for a set period of time, usually six months to a year.
If divorcing spouses have equal education and income levels, there will usually not be any alimony awarded to either spouse.