For those that passively watch the news, you would be forgiven if you thought that permanent alimony was eliminated from state law. After all, SB 1796, the bill that eliminates it, passed. However, what you may have not seen is that Florida’s governor vetoed that bill. As such, Florida’s alimony law has not changed, and permanent alimony is still the law in our state.
Florida alimony law
Every state has its own alimony schemes. In our state, we have four different versions of alimony that have various durations and intents: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony.
Short-term alimony: bridge-the-gap
This alimony is only used for short-term and identifiable needs that relate to one spouse needing financial help to move from cohabitation to solo-habitation. Commonly, this is done when a spouse could make their own life, but they use the cash from the sale of assets to make that transition successfully.
Potentially, short-term alimony: rehabilitative
This alimony is potentially short-term because its duration is based on the length of the St. Petersburg, Florida, rehabilitation plan. In rehabilitative alimony, the receiving spouse is using these funds to gain or regain their financial independence. This is done through work experience that gets them credentials, training or some other kind of education. Usually, this type of alimony is used when one spouse was a stay-at-home spouse/parent and they have lost their ability to directly reenter the workforce immediately.
Up to the length of the marriage: durational
If a court finds that bridge-the-gap alimony is not long enough, permanent alimony is not justified and rehabilitative alimony would also not be warranted, durational alimony is used. However, this can only last up to the length of the marriage, which is usually long enough to get the receiving spouse to retirement age, when they qualify for benefits.
The alimony that they try most to avoid in St. Petersburg, Florida, divorce courts is permanent alimony, but it is rare. It is so rare because it is only for those people who are completely unable to care for themselves. As such, it is normally, only used when the receiving spouse is too elderly to work or is disabled.