Zachary A. VanDyke, PA
Panama City Attorney
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What types of alimony might be awarded in Florida?

Money is often argued about by many couples in Florida. In some cases, these fights are so frequent and extensive that they, along with many other factors, lead a couple to come to the realization that their marriage is no longer viable and they need to seek a divorce.

When a couple decides to divorce, one issue they will face is that of alimony, also known as spousal support. Under Florida law, alimony can be either bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational or permanent.

Bridge-the-gap spousal support is meant to help out a spouse financially while the spouse is transitioning from being in a marital relationship to being single. It is meant to assist with the spouse's short-term needs, and cannot last more than two years in duration. These short-term needs must be legitimate and identifiable.

Rehabilitative spousal support is meant to help a spouse reach a point where they can be self-supporting. The spouse may need time to redevelop job skills or credentials or may need a certain amount of education, training or work experience to become self-supporting. Before rehabilitative spousal support can be awarded, a specific and defined plan as to what the spouse needs to become self-supporting must be in place.

Durational spousal support is awarded when it is deemed that permanent spousal support is not the best option. Durational spousal support is meant to provide the receiving spouse with financial help for a specific period of time. Such support will end if the receiving spouse remarries or if either spouse dies.

Finally, there is permanent spousal support. This will be awarded if a spouse is not financially able to meet his or her needs after the divorce, and if the couple's marriage was of a long duration. Permanent spousal support may only be awarded if no other type of spousal support would be fair or reasonable.

When a couple's divorce centers around money, the issue of spousal support can be acrimonious. However, it is important that no matter what animosity the spouses have with one another, that a fair and appropriate amount and duration of spousal support is reached. In the end, alimony should help the receiving spouse financially without being a financial drain on the paying spouse. Spouses going through a divorce should make sure they understand all their options with regards to spousal support, and may want to seek legal help if necessary.

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Zachary A. Vandyke, P.A.
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Panama City, FL 32401

Phone: 850-851-0864
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