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Alimony Orders in Florida: The Importance of Making One’s Case Early On

In recent years, the State of Florida’s alimony laws have come under intense scrutiny. Many people are calling for its reform while others fight against the proposed changes. Nonetheless, as it stands now, the rules governing alimony are spelled out in Civil Practice and Procedure Statute 61.08, Chapter 61. They state that either spouse may request one of several forms of financial support. The list of forms includes, but is not limited to rehabilitative, permanent, bridge-the-gap and durational. Either form is subject to several payment schedules, including lump sums.

As simple as that may sound at first, the process can get complicated quickly. Why? Simply put, the Florida court system takes into account a great number of factors when making rulings on alimony requests and each type of support has its own nuances. Therefore, it is important for each party to state their case in full during the court proceedings. Let’s take rehabilitative alimony as an example.

In these instances, the spouse requesting financial support must demonstrate the need for retraining, education or on-the-job training and submit a detailed game plan indicating how those needs will be filled. The court may then issue an award that is to last until the plan’s proposed end date. However, the person must stick to the plan otherwise the alimony order may be modified at a later date.

It is a lot different from bridge-the-gap alimony. By law, its amount is set in stone and the agreement remains in place for a maximum of two years or until the award recipient remarries. It is typically awarded to people who have the skills needed to live solo but need time to find gainful employment, transportation and alternate housing.

To learn more about the State of Florida’s views on alimony, please contact us. We can explain the finer points of each type of alimony to divorcing couples and help people present all of their relevant facts to the court for the judge’s consideration.