Types of Spousal Support in Florida

Spousal support, also called alimony, is a payment that may be ordered from one spouse to another during divorce proceedings. The purpose of spousal support is to help a lesser-earning or non-employed spouse transition from married to single life while maintaining a similar lifestyle and helping set a foundation for a self-sufficient future. Any spouse can request spousal support payments as part of the terms of a divorce. Learn about the different types of spousal support options available in Florida here. 


Temporary spousal support is ordered for a short period, usually until the divorce is finalized. Temporary spousal support allows a spouse to maintain their standard of living while divorce proceedings occur, which could take several months. Situations where temporary support may be ordered include if one spouse has been out of the workforce for a significant time or when the irresponsible behavior of one spouse affects the other spouse’s financial status. 


Permanent spousal support has no end date and is made for the rest of a spouse’s life. It may be awarded in specific circumstances when one spouse proves they cannot become self-sufficient due to an illness, disability, or caring for a loved one with a chronic condition. Permanent spousal support is rare but is most commonly awarded for long-term marriages that last more than 17 years. The requesting spouse must prove they cannot become self-sufficient or employed due to a chronic or permanent situation. 


This type of spousal support is one of the most common forms of support. The purpose of rehabilitative support is to help a spouse become self-sufficient and aid in their economic rehabilitation after a divorce is finalized. Rehabilitative support is set for a designated amount of time so a spouse can finish an educational course, learn a job skill, or find a stable living situation. Rehabilitative spousal support covers things like living expenses, higher-education tuition, and job training. To be eligible for this type of support, the requesting spouse must present the court with a rehabilitation plan for approval. 


Durational spousal support is similar to rehabilitative but doesn’t require the requesting spouse to submit a self-sufficiency plan. Durational support is made for a set length of time that cannot exceed the marriage length. 


This type of spousal support is aimed at helping the requesting spouse with their short-term financial needs and living expenses immediately after the divorce is finalized. This could include funds for housing, transportation, furniture, and utilities. Bridge-the-Gap support is only granted for a maximum length of two years and cannot be modified. Bridge-The-Gap support is eliminated if the receiving spouse remarries.

Spousal Support Factors 

The type of spousal support granted, the amount, and the timeframe will depend on various factors based on the individual situation of the requesting spouse. This includes the length of the marriage, the couple’s economic status, the standard of living, the spouse’s earning potential, and monthly expenses.

Spousal Support and Family Law Attorney: Kathy D. Sheive 

Kathy D. Sheive is an experienced family law attorney serving families in Osceola and Polk counties. We will help you through the entire divorce process, from filing for a dissolution of marriage to creating a parenting plan. Contact our office at 407-315-2268 to discuss your divorce case with our legal team.

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