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Basics of Alimony in Florida

Florida law provides specific rules and guidance for how the court may grant alimony to either party. The court looks to the party’s need for the alimony and the other party’s ability to pay alimony. Once the court makes the determination that one party has the need and the other has the ability to pay, the court then considers several factors. These factors include but are not limited to the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, age, physical and emotional condition of each party, all the financial resources of each party, earning abilities, education, vocational skills and employability of the parties, contribution of each party to the marriage and any other factor necessary to do fairness between the parties.

Florida provides for several types of alimony. The following are the types of alimony the court may award bridge the gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony and permanent alimony. The court can order any combination of these. These may be paid in periodic payments or lump sum or both.

In Florida there are guidelines as to the length of marriage and rebuttable presumptions. There is a rebuttable presumption that a marriage of less than 7 years is a short-term marriage, a marriage of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years is a moderate term marriage and 17 years or greater is a long-term marriage.

For longer term marriages, the court may decide whether to award durational alimony where there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis not to exceed the length of the marriage. The court can also consider permanent alimony when no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the particular circumstances of the parties.

If you are in need of alimony or in a position to pay alimony, it is critical to contact one of our skilled and experienced family law attorneys to discuss the details of your case to be awarded the right form of alimony and the right amount or to avoid or minimize an alimony award when possible.


An award of alimony may be modified or terminated upon a substantial change of circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship. It is important to consult one of our skilled and experienced family law attorneys to determine whether your case can be modified.

Contact the Figueroa Law Group at (321) 248-1011 for any questions.

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