WHAT KINDS OF ALIMONY ARE AVAILABLE IN FLORIDA?
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
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:
Length of the marriage
Ability to pay alimony
Need for alimony
Standard of living during the marriage
Age of the spouses
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.