Alimony Can Give a Person Enough Time to Become Self-Supporting
Financial issues often end up being the most complicated issues faced by divorcing couples. This is especially true for those who earn significantly less than a soon-to-be former spouse. Fortunately, there are certain types of alimony, including bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony, that were specifically designed to help a lesser earning spouse become self-supporting. Read on to learn more about these types of alimony and whether they could be right for your family following a Florida divorce.
There are two main types of alimony that can help a recently divorced person get back on his or her feet financially. The first is known as bridge-the-gap alimony and it provides recipients with financial support while they make the transition to post-divorce life. These payments will cover identifiable, short-term needs until the recipient is able to become self-supporting. There are limits, however, to these kinds of alimony awards. They cannot, for instance, be ordered for more than two years and cannot be modified. They typically terminate either at the end of the two year period, or upon the remarriage of the recipient.
Rehabilitative alimony is another type of spousal maintenance designed to help lesser earning spouses become self-supporting after divorce. Recipients will receive financial support while they redevelop previous skills or credentials, seek job training, acquire education, or reenter the workforce. Basically, this type of award helps financially support a recipient while he or she develops the employment skills or credentials that will allow him or her to become self-supporting. With this type of award, recipients will need to have a specific and defined rehabilitative plan in place with specific goals that must be reached within a certain timeframe. Unlike bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative awards can be modified if circumstances change and can even be terminated if the recipient fails to adhere to the plan. These awards cannot exceed five years.
Determining the Type and Scope of Alimony
Bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony aren’t right for everyone. Generally, courts will only issue these awards after assessing a family’s specific circumstances, including:
- The duration of the couple’s marriage;
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage;
- Each spouse’s assets and income;
- The contributions made by each spouse to the marriage;
- The ages, health, and employability of the parties; and
- How long it will take for a lower earning spouse to gain the education and skills necessary to become self-supporting.
There may also be other requirements that need to be met before a court will award alimony. For instance, as we mentioned previously, rehabilitative alimony awards are dependent on the creation of a defined and detailed plan and timeline with which the recipient must comply to continue receiving support.
Call a Largo Alimony Attorney Today
Both higher and lower earning spouses could benefit from the assistance of an experienced alimony lawyer during divorce. Whether you are seeking support, or being asked to provide it, feel free to call the dedicated Largo alimony lawyers at Cairns Law for advice.