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  • Writer's pictureJennifer LaVia


Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Learn about the various types of alimony available in Florida

Alimony can be permanent or temporary. Permanent alimony is not likely unless a marriage is

considered “long-term,” which is 17 years. Temporary alimony can be awarded just to support a

spouse during the divorce proceedings (called “pendente lite” or “suit money”), or can be

awarded for a certain number of years (called “durational alimony”). Durational alimony is

generally awarded if the marriage was short (less than 7 years) or moderate (7 to 17 years), and

cannot last longer than the marriage lasted. So if you were married for 3 years, durational

alimony can’t be more than 3 years. Two other kinds of temporary alimony are “bridge-the-gap”

alimony and “rehabilitative” alimony. Bridge-the-gap is designed to help a spouse make the

transition from being married to being single, and it can never be for more than 2 years.

Rehabilitative alimony is used to help a spouse become self-supporting, through education or


The length of the marriage is from the date of marriage until the day the divorce case is filed, not

the date of separation. Couples who have been separated for decades may be surprised to find

that they are in long-term marriages, and permanent alimony can be awarded.

The main things the court considers in deciding whether to award alimony, and if so, what kind

and how much to award, are:

  1. Length of the marriage

  2. Ability to pay alimony

  3. Need for alimony

  4. Standard of living during the marriage

  5. Age of the spouses

  6. Physical and emotional condition of the spouses

Other considerations like how to modify alimony, how to enforce an award of alimony, and

when alimony terminates will be included in an upcoming blog.

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