Alimony or spousal maintenance is not a part of every divorce. The Coral Springs alimony lawyers at the Heller & Heller, P.A., law firm in Coral Springs, Florida, can explain how the court makes alimony decisions and whether it is likely to be considered in your divorce.

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Alimony is based on one spouse's need for spousal support and the other spouse's ability to pay. It is decided on a case-by-case basis. When one spouse has been financially dependent in a long-term marriage, the judge is more likely to award alimony. Recently, the Florida Legislature set out new alimony guidelines that lay out what is typically considered a short-term, moderate-term or long-term marriage:

  • Short-term: marriages less than seven years
  • Moderate-term: marriages greater than seven but less than 17 years
  • Long-term: marriages greater than 17 years

What Is Temporary or Rehabilitative Alimony?

Some spouses need alimony on a short-term basis to give them time to adjust to life after divorce. The length of short-term alimony can vary, depending on need. It might be needed for education or retraining. Alimony might simply be a short-term bridge to cover expenses during the first year after a divorce.

What Is Bridge-the-Gap Alimony?

Especially when there is a great income disparity between parties, bridge-the-gap alimony allows a spouse to get back on their feet.

What Is Durational Alimony?

This type of alimony applies to situations when other types of alimony are not appropriate. Most commonly, moderate-term marriages fall under this category.

What About Long-Term or Permanent Alimony?

In a long-term marriage where one spouse was financially dependent, alimony may be awarded permanently — or until the spouse receiving alimony remarries. In both cases — short-term and long-term — the judge will consider the other spouse's ability to pay.

Contact Your Lawyer About Your Rights and Obligations

Whether you need alimony or you are the spouse who might be asked to pay alimony, you need to know your rights. Alimony may be affected by other factors such as property division. After years of paying alimony or if incomes change, you may want to ask the court about modifications to the alimony order.

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer

Contact a Parkland Spousal Support Attorney

If you want a divorce lawyer who is easy to talk to, who plans a legal strategy based on your objectives, and who has a sincere concern for the results as well as the costs, we look forward to talking with you. Contact our Coral Springs office to talk to an attorney.