Whether you left your career to raise children or supported a spouse through his or her education, you may be eligible for spousal support if you divorce. These payments provide the lower-earning partner with the means to become financially self-supporting.
Before filing or responding to a divorce position, learn more about how Florida determines spousal support.
Temporary spousal support
This type of spousal support provides support during the separation until the divorce is final. Florida allows this type of support when one spouse can demonstrate financial need and ability to pay on behalf of the other spouse.
Florida offers this type of support on a short-term basis depending on need. A spouse who receives bridge-the-gap support can use it for living expenses while searching for work or while selling real estate or other assets. This type of support must end before the two-year mark.
This arrangement allows the lower-earning spouse to become self-supporting through a vocational training or degree program. With rehabilitative support, the spouse receiving support must have a defined plan that will result in the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to become financially independent.
This type of support consists of time-limited alimony but without the rehabilitative plan the state mandates for rehabilitative support. Florida judges may award alimony only up to the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasted 15 years, durational support must last no longer than 15 years.
Florida courts rarely award permanent alimony. However, you may qualify for this type of arrangement if you cannot support yourself and are unlikely to be able to do so in the future. For example, you may be a retired senior, have a disability or care for a special-needs child.
Beyond these guidelines, spousal support is at the discretion of the family court judge. Florida law does not establish an alimony formula. Either spouse can request a change in alimony if life or financial circumstances change.