Alimony/Spousal Support

There are currently six different types of alimony in the state of Florida:

  • Temporary – Provides relief during the time between the filing of the petition until the case is either settled or is tried.
  • Bridge the gap – Usually awarded in short-term marriages where one of the parties has a need for a fresh start. Bridge the gap alimony can last no more than two years. It can help with obtaining a place to live or transitioning back into the workforce.
  • Rehabilitative – Designed to allow a party to obtain the training or experience he or she needs to support him or herself, either in part or entirely. To obtain this type of support the party must provide the court with a detailed practical rehabilitative plan.
  • Durational – Provides for periodic payments for a set period of time. The amount may change but the duration is not subject to modification.
  • Lump sum alimony – Usually used to offset an award of property to the other party that is greater than the amount being awarded to you. It may also be called an equalization payment. Sometimes, lump sum alimony is awarded to aid in support with the judge finding, for instance, "if he only had a house he could support himself;" or "if I give her this business she will have no further need for support." Lump sum alimony is rare.
  • Permanent periodic – This is the classic alimony award, where the paying spouse is ordered to pay until one of the parties dies or the receiving spouse remarries.

All types of alimony are awarded based upon need and ability to pay. Proving need or lack thereof is what we do. Establishing that a party has the ability to work if he or she would only use his or her best efforts; providing medical evidence that our client is unable to work; showing the impracticalities of ordering a spouse to work when there are small children at home. Proving the existence of hidden income is how alimony cases are won and lost. Our office will work with you to preserve as much income on your side of the table as possible.

*** Please be aware the Florida Legislature is debating substantial changes to alimony. The 2015 legislative session adjourned without reaching a resolution but it will be raised again either in special session or in the 2016 legislative session. If alimony reform becomes law, we will update this site as soon as possible but if you are likely to either be seeking or defending against an alimony claim, the changes will have an impact on your case.