How Long Do I Have to Pay Alimony in FL?
When you are going through a divorce in Brandon, and your spouse is seeking alimony, you are likely wondering whether the court will award alimony and what the duration will be. In other words, you may be wondering: how long will I have to pay alimony in Florida? Under Florida law, the duration of an alimony award depends on the type of alimony awarded, as well as the specific factors related to the marriage. In particular, the length of the marriage can play an important role in determining whether the court can award permanent alimony in a particular case.
Our Brandon alimony lawyers can provide you with more information about the types of alimony and the duration of these awards in Florida so that you will have a better idea of what to expect in your case. If you need assistance with a divorce or alimony matter, an attorney at Carman, Bevington & Finnegan can help.
Understanding the Types of Alimony Awarded in Florida Divorces
To understand the duration of any given alimony award in a Florida divorce, it is important to have a clear understanding of the different types of alimony that can be awarded in Florida. The Florida Statutes identify the following kinds of alimony:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony, which is “designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed two years”.
- Rehabilitative alimony, which is aimed at helping one of the spouses to establish “the capacity for self-support” through redeveloping previously held skills or credentials, or acquiring new education or skills or credentials;
- Durational alimony, which is designed to “provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis”; and
- Permanent alimony, which is “awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage.”
As you can see, based on the statutory language, for some types of alimony that are awarded in Florida, there is a statutory limit or duration set for alimony. For other types of alimony, however, the court will need to decide based on the circumstances of the marriage.
Duration of Each Type of Alimony Award Under Florida Law
For each of the types of possible alimony discussed above, how long should you expect to pay? Here is some quick information:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: No more than two years, but maybe for fewer than two years;
- Rehabilitative alimony: For a specific period of time outlined in a rehabilitative plan;
- Durational alimony: Cannot exceed the length of the marriage but may be shorter than the length of the marriage depending on the circumstances; and
- Permanent alimony: Awarded permanently.
You should know that permanent alimony is only awarded in long-term marriages, which the statute defines as lasting at least 17 years.
Contact a Brandon FL Alimony Attorney Today
If you have questions about the duration of time, you should anticipate paying alimony, one of our Brandon alimony attorneys can assist you. Contact Carman, Bevington & Finnegan for more information.