How Long Do I Have to Pay Alimony For?

Whether it is wanted or not, a divorce typically represents a final rupture in a marriage, after which point each party goes their own separate ways to the extent possible. In many situations, however, the courts will order one party to pay spousal support, or alimony, to the other party. This is most often done when one party was making significantly more money than the other during the marriage. No matter the reasons, having to pay alimony can be a painful subject since it keeps that last connection from being severed.

When trying to determine how long you will have to pay alimony, Florida courts will look at a number of different factors including the length of your marriage, the wage disparity between each party, the ability of each party to earn, and much more. Based on that, they will decide whether or not to award alimony, and if they do award it, how much and for how long. The following are the normal types of alimony, and how long they may last.

Temporary Alimony

When temporary alimony is awarded, it is intended to just help the receiving spouse get through the divorce, and then they will be on their own financially speaking. This type of alimony, which is often known as ‘pendente lite’ will end when the divorce is finalized. Depending on how long your divorce lasts, you may have to pay alimony only for a few months.

Bridge Alimony

Bridge alimony, also known as bridge-the-gap alimony, is a short term arrangement that will last two years or fewer. The courts award this type of alimony with the intention of helping the receiving spouse through short term needs after the divorce. For example, if the receiving spouse is working on selling the family home, bridge alimony may be awarded until the sale goes through so they can afford to continue making payments.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is set up to help the receiving spouse get back on their feet. While there is no set amount of time it can last, the courts tend to assign a pretty firm timeframe in most cases. This type of alimony is set up to be in place while the receiving spouse is finishing an education, completing specific training, or taking some other action to boost their own employment opportunities so they can support themselves.

Durational Alimony

When the court determines that other types of alimony aren’t sufficient to meet the receiving spouse’s needs for some reason, they can award durational alimony. This type of alimony will last, at most, the same number of years that you were married. If you were married five years, durational alimony can’t last more than five years.

Permanent Alimony

Finally, there is permanent alimony. This is becoming increasingly uncommon as the courts prefer to have an end date that both parties can work toward. If the receiving spouse has no possibility of supporting themselves, such as if they are very ill or elderly, then permanent alimony may be awarded. This type of alimony will remain in place for the rest of the receiving party’s life, unless they get married or do something else to disqualify themselves from receiving.

We’ll Fight for You

While there are times when having to pay alimony is necessary, it should not be seen as inevitable in every situation. Whether you are going through a divorce now, or you wish to appeal an alimony award that is in place already, we are here for you. Contact the Law Office of Ray Garcia to discuss your options, and get the legal help you will need.