In a Florida divorce the court can award alimony to either party which may be rehabilitative or permanent in nature. Generally after the court has determined which party is entitled to what assets and is responsible for which debts, it will address the issue of alimony. Alimony in a Florida Divorce is not automatic and not guaranteed. The primary factors that determine an entitlement for alimony are the needs of the payee spouse, the ability of the payor spouse to pay, and the lifestyle established during the marriage. The court must make a finding of fact regarding these factors before it can award one party alimony.
There are several types of alimony in Florida:
1) Rehabilitative Alimony– this type is intended for a spouse while he or she regains the ability to support his or herself after the divorce. Generally the party seeking rehabilitative alimony has the burden of proof as to the rehabilitative plan (ie. job training, school), the approximate cost, duration, and how it will make the party self-supporting.
2) Bridge-The-Gap-Alimony– this is short-term alimony for a designated period of time to help the spouse seeking the award transition from married life to single life. This award can be awarded in a lump sum or periodic payments.
3) Permanent Periodic Alimony– this is support paid to the payee until they remarry or pass away.
4) Lump-Sum Alimony– is only awarded if permanent periodic alimony is justified, there is a good reason for a lump sum award, there are specific findings of fact regarding the issue, and there is money available to pay it. This can also be used to effectuate an equitable distribution.
5) Nominal Alimony– this is awarded when there is an entitlement to alimony but there is not enough money to pay the award. This allows the court to reserve jurisdiction to award a different amount in the future should the circumstances of the parties change.
If you have questions about Alimony in Florida call a Florida Family Law Attorney.