Spousal support is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every couple. Depending on each couple’s circumstances, payments can be low or high.
If you live in Florida, there are four major types of spousal support. Here is a broad overview of each, along with how it works and why it is ordered.
Durational Spousal Support in Florida
As its name implies, durational support lasts for a specified amount of time. Spouses who receive durational support may be in a generally good financial space. Durational support gives them the extra boost they need to make sure they can stay financially secure as they rebuild their lives.
Sometimes, a court orders durational support when there is evidence of abuse in the marriage. In this way, the family court acts almost like a civil court. Durational support acts as a form of compensation for the abused spouse’s suffering.
Courts often order durational spousal support for shorter marriages, since this support cannot last longer than the length of the marriage.
Rehabilitative Spousal Support in Florida
This form of support helps the receiving spouse get on a solid financial path. Perhaps they are currently unemployed or underemployed, and the sudden ending of their marriage could leave them destitute.
Spouses who receive rehabilitative support are expected to support themselves eventually. Perhaps they have a degree in a highly marketable field, or they are currently pursuing an education.
Rehabilitative support comes with goals. The court expects the receiver to meet certain qualifications to continue receiving this money. If they fail to meet these goals, the receiver may lose their spousal support.
Bridge-the-Gap Spousal Support in Florida
Bridge-the-gap support is like rehabilitative support. It lasts for only two years, and it is designed to help the spouse become self-reliant. The receiver must meet certain goals, proving their attempts to support themselves as well.
Permanent Spousal Support in Florida
Permanent spousal support lasts for the rest of your life. It ends only when the payer or receiver dies. This is usually reserved for long marriages where the receiving spouse is older, making it harder for them to secure work and support themselves.
Recently, Florida attempted to pass a bill ending permanent spousal support. Most legal professionals assumed it would pass, but it was vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis. Gov. DeSantis was concerned that if passed into law, it would retroactively affect the receiver’s constitutional rights. For now, permanent spousal support remains a part of Florida’s spousal support options.
Getting Help from an Attorney
Spousal support should not create an undue burden on either the paying or receiving spouse. It should be based on reasonable standards including each spouse’s age, income, job prospects, and more. Spousal support should not leave one spouse with all the money and the other with nothing.
You need the help of a legal professional to make sure spousal support is fair and reasonable for both parties. If you are making these determinations yourselves, consider hiring a mediator to help with negotiations. If your divorce must be handled in court, hire a skilled attorney to make sure spousal support decisions are balanced.
Our firm is ready to help with spousal support and any other concerns you have surrounding your divorce. Call us today at (407) 753-4111 for a free consultation. You may also schedule time with us online.