Florida Permanent Alimony Attorney

Permanent Alimony Attorney In Tampa

Currently, Florida courts may award one or more of the following types of alimony: post-divorce: bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, or permanent alimony.

The Basics of Alimony:

  • Bridge-The-Gap Alimony: Bridge-the-gap alimony is intended to meet short-term needs. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony cannot exceed a period of two years and terminates upon the death of either party to the marriage or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. Following a divorce, amount or duration of this type of alimony cannot be modified.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: Rehabilitative alimony also serves a short-term purpose and is intended to give the party receiving alimony time to “rehabilitate” him or herself and establish the ability for self-support. Following a divorce, the amount and duration of rehabilitative alimony may be modified.
  • Durational Alimony: Durational alimony may be awarded following a marriage of any duration. This type of alimony is intended to support the party receiving alimony for a finite time period. Durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. Durational alimony may be modified where exceptional circumstances exist and may not exceed the length of the marriage.
  • Permanent Alimony: Permanent alimony may available following a long-term marriage, defined as lasting more than 17 years, where no other type of alimony is appropriate. Without a substantial change in circumstances, this type of alimony can continue for life.

Reform In Florida: Is Permanent Alimony Permanent?

Many states have eliminated awards of permanent alimony and reform groups believed Florida would join this trend when the Florida Senate passed Alimony Reform Bill SB 718, legislation to end permanent alimony. Instead, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the bill. The Tampa Tribune reported that Scott vetoed the bill in part because it would have altered alimony awards that were decided long ago; and required most divorced couples to share equal custody of their children.

Florida Bill In Support For Ending Permanent Alimony

Advocates for alimony reform, however, remain focused on their goal to eliminate the practice of permanent alimony in Florida. Bill supporters may remove provisions affecting existing alimony awards and child custody when the legislation is reintroduced in 2014.

A few highlights of the vetoed bill include:

  • A presumption of no alimony in short-term marriages, defined as lasting less than 11 years. Any award of alimony would be limited to less than 25 percent of the alimony payer’s gross income;
  • No presumption of alimony in mid-term marriages, defined as lasting 11 to 20 years. Any award of alimony would be limited to less than 35 percent of the alimony payer’s gross income;
  • A presumption of alimony in long-term marriages defined lasting more than 20 years. The duration of an award of alimony in a long term marriage, in the absence of a specific reason for additional alimony, would be equal to no more than half of the years of marriage;
  • Credit of income to parties receiving alimony based on past recent employment; and
  • Potential termination of alimony when the alimony payer reaches the Social Security retirement age.

Contact An Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney At 813-374-2000

If you need help with an alimony or spousal support issue, do not hesitate to call us toll-free at 813-374-2000 or email us to schedule a consultation.