How Long Does Spousal Support in Florida Last
Spousal support in Florida is a somewhat new term used in a divorce to take the place of the word alimony. For many years alimony was almost always awarded to a woman, but that has changed. With the rise of women in the workplace, sometimes earning more than their husbands, support after a divorce can, and often does, go to either the husband or the wife. For this reason, the term spousal support is used in place of alimony.
In Florida, there are six types of spousal support, each with its time factor determining the length of the support. The six types of Florida spousal support and how long each type lasts are as follows:
Temporary: just as the word temporary suggests, this type of spousal support is temporary, awarded only during the actual divorce process and ending immediately when the divorce is final. Depending on how long the divorce takes, sometimes many months, even years, will determine how long this type of spousal support lasts.
Lump sum: this is a one-time payment of spousal support following the final judgment. There is no way to return to court for additional spousal support in the future.
Permanent: this type of spousal support is often used for long-term marriages of 17 years or more and marriages where one spouse earns the income while the other spouse stays home to care for the home, including children. Once awarded, this type of spousal support is for the lifetime of both the party receiving the award and the party paying it. Sometimes situations in life change both in receiving and paying, and either party, if all the qualifications are met, can return to court to ask for a modification. Additionally, if the party receiving spousal support remarries or enters into cohabitation with a nonrelative, the spousal support will stop and cannot be reinstated should that marriage or relationship fail.
Bridge-the-gap: This type of spousal support is awarded for no more than two years and is designed to help the party “bridge the gap” between the life they were living when married to their new standard of living and social standing (often substantially reduced due to less income and social position) following the divorce.
Durational: the length of this type of spousal support is no longer than the length of the marriage. Stay-at-home Moms or Dads are often the recipients of durational spousal support.
Rehabilitative: this type of spousal support is designed to help a party who has not worked to learn skills or gain an education to become gainfully employed to support themselves. Another reason this type of spousal support is awarded is to allow a party to become better qualified to earn a higher income which will be needed following the divorce. A rehabilitation plan will be created, which must be followed, or this type of spousal support will end. If the party receiving the rehabilitative support finishes the plan early, the support will also end.
If you are planning to divorce and think you should be eligible for spousal support, be sure to make this a part of your questions when searching for a Family Law attorney to represent you. Board-certified Family Law attorney Grant Gisondo has been successfully representing clients through divorce, including the area of spousal support, for over a decade. He works with people in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough Counties, and New York and Washington, DC. For more information and to learn about his free, initial, in-office consultation, please call his office at (561) 530-4568 and visit his website online at http://gisondolaw.com.