According to Florida Law, Alimony awards go to the spouse who has the financial need, if the other party has the ability to pay and Florida statutory factors are met. While historically alimony was paid by a Husband to a Wife, over the last few decades we have seen more equality in the workforce which has also led to a greater equality in alimony obligations (e.g., Wife paying Husband alimony and vice versa, or less of an alimony need).
Alimony is also known as spousal support or maintenance and is an element of the dissolution of marriage that must be considered and weighed in settlement or by the court. Florida courts have broad authority when determining if alimony is warranted and in what amount alimony should be paid, so long as it is consistent with Florida alimony law. The aim of alimony is to provide an economically dependent spouse with the financial support required to become self-sufficient, or, if they cannot become self sufficient, to meet their financial needs following divorce. There are several types of alimony that a judge may grant depending on the circumstances.
Florida Alimony Modification – The court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature of any combination of these forms of alimony in any award of alimony. The court may order periodic payments in lump-sum or both; unless the alimony is non-modifiable by agreement, either party can bring an action in Florida for alimony modification or termination, if the circumstances warrant.
Various Categories for Alimony–
- Bridge-the-gap Alimony – awarded to provide support to a spouse during the transition from being married to being single. It is drafted to assist a party with legitimate short-term needs.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – awarded to assist a spouse in establishing becoming self-supportive through redeveloping previous skills.
- Durational Alimony – awarded for a fixed period of time when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate.
- Permanent Alimony – awarded in a case where a party lacks the financial ability to ever meet their own needs and no other form of alimony is fair or reasonable.