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Legal Information: Florida

Divorce

Laws current as of October 6, 2023

What types of alimony are there?

Florida has different types of alimony: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational.1 For purposes of determining alimony, the judge will use the following guidelines:

  • a “short-term marriage” is a marriage that lasts less than ten years; 
  • a “moderate-term marriage” is a marriage that lasts between 10 and 20 years; and
  • a “long-term marriage” is a marriage that lasts more than 20 years.2  

The length of a marriage is calculated from the date of marriage until the date either spouse files for divorce.2 

Bridge-the-gap alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to help you make a transition from being married to being single. This type of alimony is to assist you with specific short-term needs. The length of the alimony award cannot be longer than two years.  The amount of alimony or the length of time that it is paid cannot later be modified by the judge.3

Rehabilitative alimony
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help you gain the ability to support yourself through:

  • redeveloping your previous skills or credentials; or
  • getting the education, training, or work experience you need to develop work skills or credentials.4

This type of alimony will only be awarded if there is a specific and defined rehabilitative plan. The length of the alimony award cannot be longer than five years. It can later be changed or ended when there is a significant change in circumstances, if you are not following the rehabilitative plan, or if you finish the rehabilitative plan.4

Durational alimony
Durational alimony is ordered to give you financial assistance for a specific period of time, as follows:

  • for a short-term marriage, it can last for up to 50 percent of the length of the marriage - however, it cannot be ordered for a marriage that lasts less than three years;
  • for a moderate-term marriage, it can last for up to 60 percent of the length of the marriage; and
  • for a long-term marriage, it can last for up to 75 percent of the length of the marriage.5

Under exceptional circumstances, such as if you are the caregiver to a mentally or physically disabled child, the judge can extend the term of durational alimony beyond the limits described above. 

Durational alimony can later be changed when there is a significant change in circumstances. This type of alimony ends when you or your spouse dies, or if you get married.5 

1 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(1)(a)
2 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(5)
3 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(6)
4 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(7)
5 Fla. Stat. § 61.08(8)