In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party. Alimony may be in several forms or a combination of forms. Generally, Florida Statutes §61.08 lists several factors the court is to consider when deciding whether an award of alimony is appropriate. Generally, the type and amount of alimony is determined by examining the need of one party for an award of alimony and the ability of the other party to meet the established need, taking into consideration the most recent standard of living established by the parties while the marriage remained intact. Many circumstances may affect the type and amount of any alimony award including, but not limited to: the age of the parties; the duration of the marriage; the financial resources of the parties; the earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of the parties; and, other circumstances bearing on the requesting party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay alimony. The type and amount of alimony is determined in the discretion of the court and there currently exists no formula for the establishment of the amount of alimony which may be awarded.
Alimony can take several forms, namely:
Permanent periodic alimony
This form of alimony is usually reserved for long term marriages of 17 years or longer but may be a consideration in other cases. This form of alimony obligates a party to make monthly payments to the other party until death or remarriage of that other party.
Lump Sum alimony
When equitable distribution doesn’t put the parties in a position to be financially secure moving forward, a lump sum of alimony may be ordered to achieve that purpose.
This form of alimony is most commonly awarded for marriages of less than 17 years. Durational alimony requires a party to make monthly alimony payments to the other party for a fixed period of time not longer than the length of the parties’ marriage.
Bridge the Gap alimony
Bridge the gap alimony helps a needy party bridge the gap between married and single life. It can be made a lump sum or made in monthly payments. Bridge the gap alimony cannot last longer than two years.
When one party has foregone his or her career during the marriage but has the potential to be self-supporting, that party may need to have his or her skills rehabilitated to join the workforce after marriage. Rehabilitative alimony requires a rehabilitation plan which outlines the efforts to be made by the party receiving the alimony and a timeline for the rehabilitative plan to be completed.
One or more of these types of alimony may apply to any dissolution case. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney will ensure that the proper alimony terms are considered in your dissolution case. Call our family law attorneys to find out what the alimony options are in your case. (941) 365-7171