Alimony can be ordered for a set period, but orders can also last indefinitely. Ultimately, the duration of any specific alimony order depends on the unique facts and circumstances of a divorce.
If you are going through a divorce in Florida, one of the many issues you may be thinking about is alimony. Alimony is a court order for one spouse to pay the other a certain sum of money on a regular basis, usually monthly. The purpose of alimony is to help spouses who would be otherwise unable to financially support themselves once the divorce settles.
4 Different Types of Alimony in Florida
Alimony is sometimes talked about as a single, monolithic thing, but there are actually four different types of alimony. Each of these types of alimony can provide insight into how long alimony can last in your situation.
The four types of alimony include the following:
- Permanent Alimony – This is alimony that can last indefinitely. In other words, a person ordered to pay permanent alimony to an ex-spouse must continue to do until one of two events occurs: the receiving party remarries or either of the ex-spouses dies. Typically, permanent alimony can be ordered when two people were married for more than 17 years, which is legally considered a long-term marriage.
- Durational Alimony – This type of alimony lasts for as long as a judge orders it to last. Upon reviewing the facts of the case and evidence, a judge has the discretion to order durational alimony for however long they deem necessary. In most cases, durational alimony is ordered in divorces of long-term marriages or moderate-term marriages (those lasting between 7 and 17 years).
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – This type of alimony’s purpose can be discerned from its name. It’s intended to be used to help the party in the weaker financial position in a divorce adjust to a new lifestyle they may not be accustomed to living. Because of this, bridge-the-gap alimony orders do not last more than two years. Usually, this type of alimony is ordered for short-term marriages lasting fewer than seven years.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – Sometimes alimony is ordered with the intent to help its recipient re-establish their life. For example, if one spouse sacrificed career or education opportunities to tend to duties that supported their marriage, they may be awarded rehabilitative alimony. In other words, this type of alimony’s purpose can be said to help someone “get back on their feet” after divorce and help them transition to their new life.
Yes, alimony can last forever – but this usually only occurs in divorces of long-term marriages. How long your alimony will last depends on a variety of factors, including the type of alimony ordered and the judge’s discretion.
If you’d like to learn more about alimony in Florida, or you seek legal counsel to assist you with a matter involving alimony, you can contact Beatriz Zyne, P.A. online now for assistance.