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Alimony

It is common for one spouse to depend on the other spouse financially for various reasons, including one spouse stays home to care for the children, the spouse does not have the same earning potential, or the spouse is a student.

Just because one or both spouses have decided to divorce, the financially dependent spouse does not immediately or automatically stop needing financial support. Florida law allows for one spouse to receive alimony or spousal support as an economic supplement for necessities, including housing, food, and transportation.

West Palm Beach Alimony Lawyers

Divorce or dissolution of marriage can be an emotional and frightening time. Now that the marriage is ending, it is common to ask “what will happen to me now?”. The skilled and seasoned attorneys of Quality Family Law will take the time to answer all of your questions regarding divorce and any related issues, including alimony or spousal support.

With partners on call 24/7, the attorneys of Quality Family Law will be by your side throughout your legal process. Contact Quality Family Law at (561) 693-3126 or submit an online form to schedule a consultation.

Quality Family Law represents individuals and families throughout Florida, including Palm Beach County and surrounding communities.

Florida Alimony Information Center


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Alimony Overview

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, may be granted by the court in a divorce proceeding to one spouse for financial support. Alimony may be granted to either spouse, irrespective of gender. Generally, alimony payments are made monthly; however, the court may require the payments be made in any periodic interval or in a lump sum.

In determining whether alimony is appropriate and calculating the amount, the court considers several factors, including the following:

  • Adultery of either spouse
  • Actual need of alimony
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party
  • The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and marital assets and liabilities distributed to each
  • The earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability of each spouse
  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including homemaking, child care, education, and career building
  • The responsibilities with regard to any minor children

Depending on the circumstances and the type of alimony granted, alimony may be temporary or permanent. Also, the obligor spouse or the spouse ordered to pay alimony may request the court modify or terminate alimony if there is a change in circumstances. Otherwise, alimony terminates according the time stated in the order, maximum time allotted by law, death of either party, or remarriage of the spouse awarded alimony, whichever occurs earlier.


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Length of Marriage

The duration of the marriage is a factor courts consider when determining whether to grant alimony. Florida courts divide marriages into three categories.

  • Short-term marriage- Marriage with a duration of less than 7 years
  • Moderate-term marriage-Marriage with a duration greater than 7 years but less than 17 years
  • Long-term marriage- Marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater

The length of the marriage is calculated from the date of the marriage to the date of filing for divorce.


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Types of Alimony

Under Florida Stat. § 61.08 in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage the court may grant to either party the following forms of alimony:

  • Temporary Alimony
  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
  • Rehabilitative Alimony
  • Durational Alimony
  • Permanent Alimony

Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony may be granted during the pendency of the action for dissolution of marriage. Temporary alimony terminates when the divorce becomes final.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make a transition from being married to single. It is designed to assist with legitimate short-term needs and may not exceed 2 years.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through redevelopment of previous skills or credentials or acquisition of education, training, or work experience. With rehabilitative alimony a specific plan must be developed and will terminate on a specific date or event.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony may be granted to provide for the necessities of life as were established during that marriage for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs after a divorce. The burden of proof or the evidence needed to prove permanent alimony is appropriate determines on the length of the marriage.

Permanent alimony is generally reserved for long-term marriages; however, it may be granted in moderate-term and short-term marriages under certain circumstances.
Permanent alimony terminates upon death of either party or remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony.

Durational Alimony

Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent alimony is not appropriate. Durational alimony may be awarded on a long-term or short-term basis; however, it may not exceed the duration of the marriage.

Durational alimony terminates upon death of either party or remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony.


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Modification of Alimony

An obligor or the party order to pay alimony may request alimony be reduced or terminated in the following instances:

  • Specific findings the spouse receiving alimony is being financially supported by a person with whom he or she resides
  • Findings that the spouse receiving alimony is being financially supported by a person with whom he or she resides and is not related
  • The spouse receiving alimony holds him or herself out as married to another person as husband and wife
  • Changed financial circumstances or financial ability of either party

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Palm Beach County Spousal Support Attorneys

The attorneys at Quality Family Law understand your emotional and financial well-being is paramount during and after a divorce. Allow the team of attorneys at Quality Family Law to develop the best course of action based on your individual circumstances.

Quality Family Law proudly and compassionately represents individuals in all divorce and related matters, including alimony, modification of alimony, contest of alimony, and termination. Contact Quality Family Law at (561) 693-3126 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.

Quality Family Law represents individuals and families throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, and surrounding areas.


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