How Alimony in Florida Works Today

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In the video above, we discuss how proving alimony in Florida depends on many factors. This is entrusted to the Court’s discretion, and Florida’s laws have undergone recent changes. I’d like to define alimony, or spousal support, in a little more detail and talk about how it works in Florida today. As Orlando family law and divorce lawyers, we see a lot of complicated cases, and we know it is important to have a good, basic understanding of Florida laws and the money that you or your spouse may be entitled to.

First let’s look at the purpose of alimony. This provision is meant to support an ex-spouse in need of financial support when there is a significant disparity of income, and is generally only awarded in marriages that last longer than 7 years.

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So Who Is Eligible for Alimony in Florida?

How do you determine if you or your ex-spouse is eligible? The court takes into account various concerns in a divorcing couple’s situation in order to determine the need for spousal support, whether the paying party has the ability to pay it, and the type and amount to be awarded.

There have been some recent changes in eligibility rules that are particularly interesting to Orlando divorce lawyers. Entitlement to alimony in Florida has become a little more clear-cut because the Florida legislature came up with a concrete definition of different lengths of marriage, where

  • a short-term marriage is less than 7 years,
  • a moderate-term marriage is 7 to 17 years,
  • a long-term marriage is 17 or more years.

You are most likely to get permanent alimony in Florida after a long-term marriage, somewhat likely to get it in a moderate-term marriage if there is significant financial disparity, and less likely in a short-term marriage unless you can demonstrate exceptional circumstances.

While it is rare for a spouse in a short-term marriage to qualify for permanent alimony, they can sometimes qualify for something called bridge-the-gap alimony. Bridge-the-gap payments in Florida lasts no more than 2 years and is meant to help the financially disadvantaged party readjust to being the sole breadwinner. Other forms include rehabilitative and durational alimony. Awards may be paid periodically or as lump sum, or both.

The rules of alimony in Florida can be confusing, and the amount and type awarded in Florida will vary on a case-by-case basis. If you’re wondering if you or your ex-spouse qualifies, we urge you to give us a call or come in and see an Orlando divorce lawyer at Kramer Law Firm. We can help you make sense of this complex area of family law.

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