Alimony is an issue in nearly all divorce cases. However, that does not mean that a judge orders alimony in nearly all cases. There are various types of alimony. Some may be applicable to your case, some may not be. Paying more than one type of alimony is possible. It is very important that you consult with an alimony lawyer in Jacksonville.
Types of Alimony
- Temporary Alimony – paid during the case so that bills and other expenses can continue to be paid until a final judgment is entered.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – awarded so that a party can more easily transition from being married to being single.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – paid for a short period to assist a spouse in becoming self-supporting through the development of skills and credentials or through education and work experience.
- Permanent Alimony – paid until the death of either party (or remarriage of the recipient) to provide for the needs and necessities of a spouse based on the standard that existed during the marriage.
- Lump Sum Alimony – payment of a set amount
- Durational Alimony – a hybrid form of alimony the duration of which cannot exceed the length of the marriage that is awarded when permanent alimony would be inappropriate.
- Length of marriage
- short term marriage (less than 7 years – presumption against permanent alimony)
- moderate term marriage (between 7 and 17 years – no presumption for or against alimony)
- long term marriage (more than 17 years – presumption for permanent alimony)
- The ability of one spouse to pay alimony
- The need of the other spouse to receive the alimony
- Standard of living
These factors may seem simple. They are not. Alimony is one of the least predictable areas of Family Law. Each case is different. Your case may be decided differently by different judges.
Changes to Alimony Laws
The Florida alimony statute was revised in 2010 and 2011. Some of the changes include:
- “Exceptional circumstances” needed for permanent alimony in marriages lasting less than 7 years.
- “Clear and convincing evidence” needed for permanent alimony in marriage lasting between 7 and 17 years.
- Permanent alimony allowed only when other forms of alimony would not be fair or reasonable.
- The alimony award must not leave the paying spouse with “significantly less” income than the receiving spouse.
There are some things that alimony is NOT:
- Alimony is not meant as a penalty to a spouse
- Alimony is not meant for a receiving spouse to “save for a rainy day.”
- Lastly, alimony is not another method of property division
Alimony Lawyer in Jacksonville
Unlike child support, there are no quick and easy answers about alimony. Every case is different. While this page may lay out some rules about alimony, there are almost always exceptions. Please consult with James Mullaney if you need an alimony lawyer in Jacksonville, FL.