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What does Florida law say about alimony?

Spousal support can take several different forms in Florida. State law establishes five types of alimony with specific qualifications for each arrangement.

Review the Florida spousal support laws to learn how the court calculates a fair payment.

Rehabilitative support

Florida courts commonly award rehabilitative alimony when one spouse needs help to become financially independent. For example, he or she may need to finish school or take a certification class to obtain a higher paying job. A person requesting this type of support must submit a detailed plan with objectives and a time limit.

Durational support

While durational support also has a time limit, it does not require a rehabilitation plan. State courts do not allow this type of alimony to continue beyond the length of the marriage.

Temporary support

A person can ask for this type of alimony when he or she cannot afford to live independently after separation. A temporary support arrangement ends when the divorce becomes final.

Bridge-the-gap support

Similar to temporary support, this form of alimony helps with the transition to a financially independent household. Typically, the court will designate bridge-the-gap support for a specific purpose, such as covering expenses while the person moves to a smaller home. Florida law limits this type of arrangement to two years.

Permanent support

Generally, Florida courts only allow permanent alimony when a person cannot become financially independent. For example, he or she may be elderly, have a disability or care for a family member who has special needs.

Couples can create a spousal support agreement before marriage or during separation. Otherwise, the judge will decide during the divorce proceedings.

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