Some Florida couples who have decided to end their marriage will need to negotiate spousal support or alimony. In some cases, alimony payments might be permanent but in others, the spouse receiving support might just need the financial assistance for a short period of time. This is known as bridge-the-gap alimony.
How is alimony calculated?
After a court decides that one of the spouses needs spousal support and that the other spouse is financially able to provide it, the court will consider several factors in deciding the amount of the payments, the length of time when the payments will be made and the type of alimony that will be paid. These include:
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including in areas such as finances, childcare, education, homemaking
- Each spouse’s income and other financial resources
- Each spouse’s physical and mental health condition
What if one spouse only needs financial support for a short time?
Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to meet this specific need. This type of spousal support has a limited length of time of two years maximum and automatically ends if either person dies or the receiving person remarries within this period of time. The goal of this type of support is to assist the person who is receiving it with the transition into single life after the divorce. It focuses on specific needs that the receiving person might have during this period. Once it is established, the amount of payment and the length of payment cannot be changed.
Negotiations for alimony are part of the divorce process and might be affected by the division of property that the two spouses agree to. Florida residents can consult with their family law lawyer for advice about the process.