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Understanding Spousal Support in Florida

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What Is Spousal Support?

Concept is similar to child support

Divorce often creates financial inequality

One spouse often gives up a career to stay home with children

and take care of the home

The stay at home spouse is at a significant financial disadvantage post-divorce

Re-entering the workforce can be difficult

Spousal support is intended to eliminate or

decrease financial inequality

Is Spousal Support Always Ordered?

Spousal support is not always ordered

Factors the court may consider when determining if spousal support is warranted include:

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 non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities

distributed to each

The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable

such party to find appropriate employment

The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career

building of the other party

The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common

The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the

designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment

All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through

investments of any asset held by that party

Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties

What Type of Spousal Support Can Be Awarded?

In the State of Florida, spousal support comes in more than one


The types of alimony available include:

Bridge-the-gap — intended to help a party make the transition from being married to being single. Used for things like purchasing a vehicle or costs associated with moving. Bridge-the-gap alimony

cannot exceed two years.

Rehabilitative – paid for a short period of time, rehabilitative alimony is intended to be used to for

education or to upgrade skills for a party who has not been in the workforce for some time but who can

acquire or sharpen skills needed to become self-sufficient.

Durational — this type of spousal support is not for a specific purpose; however, it is only paid for a specific period of time and is usually paid monthly or


Permanent – permanent alimony, as the name implies, is paid until the payee remarries or dies.

Can a Spousal Support Order Be Modified or Terminated?

A court can modify, or even terminate, alimony; however, there

must be a significant change in circumstances that has occurred since the original support order

Remarriage will terminate alimony

If the payee isn’t legally re-married but is in a long-term relationship and/or living with a

new partner, the Court can modify or terminate alimony

The court will consider whether there is a “supportive relationship”

including such factors as:

Whether the couple holds themselves out as husband and wife even though not legally married

Whether the same mailing address is used by the payee on the new partner

How long the payee has lived with the new partner

How much support the payee gets from the new partner

Whether the payee and the new partner have purchased property together

Whether the payee uses the same last name as the new partner


Please contact our office at (561) 750-1800 and schedule

an appointment with one of our attorneys

We assist clients throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Click to visit www.BeinerLaw.com

Or call us (561) 750-1800