What Is Alimony?
You’ve probably heard the term “alimony” before, but you may be unsure of exactly what it is. During divorce proceedings, the court can order one spouse to financially support the other spouse, with the idea that both spouses should continue to enjoy the same standard of living that they did during the marriage. When deciding whether to award alimony, the court will consider whether the receiving spouse needs support and whether the paying spouse is able to provide support. There’s no exact formula for how much alimony to order, so courts will calculate alimony awards on a case-by-case basis.
The Different Types of Alimony
Courts can award many different kinds of alimony, including:
- Permanent periodic alimony – This type of alimony continues until the receiving spouse either remarries or dies, although it can be modified under certain circumstances. For example, the court might modify a permanent alimony award if the paying spouse retires, or if the receiving spouse moves in with someone who’s contributing support.
- Durational alimony – This form of alimony lasts for a set amount of time, which can’t exceed the length of the marriage. For instance, if a couple was married for 10 years, durational alimony can’t continue for more than 10 years.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony – This type of alimony is intended to help the receiving spouse while he or she is transitioning to single life. It can be awarded for up to two years.
- Rehabilitative alimony – When one spouse has been out of work for a while (or never worked at all), the court can order the other spouse to pay for the costs of education and retraining, so that the receiving spouse will eventually be able to support him or herself.
- Temporary alimony – This type of alimony continues until a divorce is finalized.
Skilled Divorce Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area
Alimony can be a very complicated subject, and it helps to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. If you’re going through a divorce in the Tampa Bay area, you can turn to the Law Offices of Audrey A. Jefferis, P.A., for representation. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our main office in New Port Richey or our satellite office in Palm Harbor.