Do you believe you are entitled to alimony after your divorce? Did your spouse request alimony in his or her divorce petition?
Don’t be alarmed if you receive a divorce petition and your spouse request alimony. Generally, the petitioning spouse will request everything including the pets and the plants. However, under Florida law, alimony is determined based on the financial needs of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. 

The main types of alimony in Florida are:

  • TEMPORARY ALIMONY– this type of alimony is used for the spouse needing the support while the dissolution proceedings are going on;

  • BRIDGE-THE-GAP ALIMONY– this type of alimony is designed to help someone through a transition from married to single life. The statute limits the length of the award to no more than two years. Bridge the gap alimony cannot be modified after it is awarded. In other words the court cannot increase the amount, nor can they lengthen the period to be paid.  

  • REHABILITATIVE ALIMONY– this type of alimony is provided so that the needing spouse may develop the necessary skill set via education and training so they can improve job skills or take a refresher course. The underling purpose is to increase or establish the income of a nonworking spouse or a spouse that does not earn enough to live on their own.  

  • DURATIONAL ALIMONY– this type of alimony is designated for a specific period of time. However, it is not available for marriages that have not lasted for at least 17 years; 

  • PERMANENT ALIMONY– Permanent alimony may soon be a thing of the past. State legislators have been trying to make significant changes to permanent alimony to make it more difficult for a spouse to receive an award of permanent alimony.  For now, permanent alimony is awarded in long term marriages of 15 years or more where there is a disparity in income. Marriages between 7 and 15 years can go either way, depending upon the facts of each case. This type of alimony continues until the death of either party and/or the remarriage of the recipient. Recent changes in law allow for a modification or termination where the recipient spouse is cohabitating in a financially supportive relationship. 

The court may consider the following factors when determining an award of alimony: 

  • The standard of living established during the marriage

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The financial resources of each party

  • The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment

  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party

  • All sources of income available to either party, and

  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties