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How Long Do I have to Pay Alimony in Florida?

When one spouse requests alimony in a divorce case, the other spouse might naturally be concerned about how paying alimony is going to impact their financial situation. Specifically, they will likely wonder how much they will have to pay and for how long. The amount of alimony will depend largely on the income of the paying spouse and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. The length of alimony can depend on different factors, which you should discuss with your divorce attorney directly.

Types of Alimony

First, the duration of an alimony award in Florida will depend on the type of alimony awarded. The following are the possible types of alimony that family courts can award:

  • Lump-sum alimony – This type of alimony is usually paid all at once or in a specific number of installments. It will not continue on for years like certain other types of alimony.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony – This alimony aims to help one spouse make the financial transition from married life to single life and to address specific short-term needs. This kind of alimony cannot last for longer than two years.
  • Rehabilitative alimony – This type of alimony intends to support a non-working spouse while they obtain the training and education necessary to gain sufficient employment. The spouse requesting rehabilitative alimony will need to present a plan that includes a timeline of how long they will need to receive alimony before they can find gainful employment.
  • Durational alimony – This is a relatively new type of alimony that applies to shorter or moderate-length marriages. The length of durational alimony can vary, but it cannot exceed the length of the marriage, and once the duration is set by the court, it cannot be modified absent extraordinary circumstances.
  • Permanent alimony – This type of alimony applies to long marriages, especially when one spouse is unable to provide themselves with the standard of living during the marriage, possibly due to age, length of time out of the workforce, or health conditions. Unless properly modified, this alimony can continue until the recipient remarries or either ex-spouse passes away.

Once the type of alimony is decided, the duration will be based on other factors, including the length of the marriage and the financial resources available to each spouse.

Modifying the Duration of Alimony

Permanent alimony is the longest-lasting type of support, though once you have a permanent alimony order, you can always seek a modification in the future. If your ex-spouse is in a supportive relationship or marriage, or is able to support themselves, you can always request the court to modify the order or terminate it altogether.

Consult with Our Brandon Alimony Attorneys about Your Situation

If your spouse is seeking an alimony award, you need an attorney who will protect your rights against having to pay support for too long based on the circumstances of your marriage. The Brandon divorce lawyers at Carman & Bevington can help, so please call 813-305-0631 or contact us online today.