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3 types of spousal support you should know about

If you are contemplating divorce in Florida, it is important for you to consider all possibilities to plan for a better outcome. One issue that you may encounter if you are the higher earning spouse is alimony. On the surface, it involves the lower-earning or nonworking spouse to receive financial support from the other. Upon deeper inspection, you may soon find out there are different levels of alimony that can have a significant impact on your finances. 

You need to understand that alimony does not include support for the kids; that is what child support is for. Because there are many factors that go into determining the amount and duration of spousal support, consider the following types of alimony you may have to provide. 

Transitional alimony 

Not all divorces involve couples where both parties have modest incomes. This type of spousal support is only available for a short duration of time and is not eligible for modification in cases where one spouse has little to no income and is in dire need of financial assistance to help with short-term needs (housing, vehicle, etc.). The courts may order the other spouse to pay transitional (bridge-the-gap) alimony for a period that does not exceed two years. 

Permanent alimony 

Spouses who have been married for longer than seven years may have to pay their exes permanent spousal support. This type of award occurs when the lesser-earning spouse asks for financial assistance so he or she can retain a similar standard of living as during the marriage. Permanent spousal support is usually not awarded in short-term divorces unless there are extenuating circumstances that require it. An ideal scenario where a judge would award permanent spousal support is when one person gives up a career to stay at home to raise the kids during most or all the marriage. 

Rehabilitative alimony 

Rehabilitative often comes up when one spouse needs to acquire additional training, education or some other skills so as to support himself or herself after the marriage is over. Unlike transitional support, which is ineligible for adjustment, courts can modify rehabilitative support under certain circumstances. 

Alimony is not something the courts automatically award to individuals who ask for it. The courts take many factors into consideration besides the duration of the marriage. To ensure that any alimony you may have to pay is fair and not excessive, you might want to speak to an attorney for guidance.

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