Within your final divorce decree, you may have been awarded a form of alimony. With the purpose of these awards being based upon your financial dependence, it is important to prepare for your financial stability when these payments come to an end. Therefore, discuss with your alimony attorney the specific details of your alimony award, and the steps you may take to financially prepare for the time when you will no longer receive this financial aid.
The first step encouraged by your attorney is to fully understand your alimony award, specifically noting the methods or date of termination. With the many different forms and combinations of alimony allowed in Florida, it is crucial to appreciate the specifics of your alimony award, read the guidelines provided in your divorce decree and note the date of termination, specifics of modification, or triggering events that may result in a loss of your alimony award.
Bridge the gap alimony, which assists the dependent spouse during the transition period between marriage and development of a single lifestyle, is unique in the manner of modification and termination. This type of award may not be modified in amount or duration. However, the term of this award may not exceed 2 years. Therefore, there will be a specific amount paid and date noted in your agreement as to when the payments will cease. This amount and date of termination may not be modified by either party, even if a substantial change in circumstances exists. However, as all alimony awards provide, termination of this award may occur due to the death of either party or remarriage of the recipient.
Rehabilitative alimony, is awarded when a spouse is in need of financial assistance to obtain necessary education, skills, experience, training, or credentials for self-sustaining employment. This award is also unique as it terminates upon the completion of the detailed rehabilitative plan. Therefore, there may not be a specific date of termination, however; a specific event will be noted. This award may be modified or terminated if evidence is presented of a recipient’s noncompliance with the plan, a substantial change in circumstances for either party, death of either party, or remarriage of the recipient.
Durational alimony is provided to a spouse when the court finds permanent alimony to be inappropriate. Durational alimony, as the name suggests has a specific duration, and is prohibited from exceeding the length of the marriage. Therefore, a termination date will be provided in your divorce decree. This date may not be modified unless exceptional circumstances are shown. However, the amount of the award may be modified with evidence of a substantial change in circumstances. Again, this award will terminate automatically upon the death of either party or remarriage of the recipient.
Finally, permanent alimony is awarded when a spouse is unable to presently and for the foreseeable future, financially provide for their own needs established during the time of their marriage. This form of alimony is modifiable and terminable in amount and duration upon a substantial change in circumstances, death of either party, or remarriage of the recipient.
Alimony awards are a significant financial aid to the recipient spouse. However, many neglect to acknowledge the termination of these awards and are then left with financial instability. This is why employing the aid of a knowledgeable lawyer is critical. We will be able to provide you with the details of your alimony award as well as steps you may want to take to prepare for your financial independence.
Speaking to an attorney at our Pensacola office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at (800) 822-5170 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.