New Florida Alimony Law


Currently, there are four types of alimony that can be given as a result of a divorce proceeding.  They are called bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony. 

Bridge the gap alimony is alimony that is designed to assist a party transition from married life to single life. This type of alimony is non-modifiable and may not exceed two years.  Rehabilitative alimony is alimony that is used to help a person develop a trade skill and become self-supporting. In order to receive rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific plan for the rehabilitation that must be followed. Rehabilitation alimony is modifiable.  Durational alimony is alimony that cannot extend past the length of the marriage. It may be modifiable and may be the length of the marriage but no more. Permanent alimony is alimony that can last forever. It is modifiable and terminates upon the remarriage or potential cohabitation of the receiving spouse. Permanent alimony is designed for a long term marriage although there are exceptions when a shorter marriage can get this type.

After hearing many opinions of those who have been divorced, a House panel began working on a controversial bill that would place new limits on alimony.

House Bill 231 and Senate Bill 718 are proposing to alter the way alimony payments are regulated in five important ways:

  • Eliminate permanent alimony;
  • Create a “right to retire” from alimony payments;
  • Establish a “right to modify current judgments;”
  • Establish alimony based on an average of spouses’ income; and
  • Bar second spouses’ incomes from being used as a factor for additional alimony.

The bill attempts to eliminate permanent alimony and offer three alternatives in its place: bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony and rehabilitative alimony.

Durational alimony would be limited to only 50 percent of the marriage instead of receiving alimony based on the entire duration of the marriage. A spouse could be awarded longer award of alimony, if the spouse could show by “clear and convincing evidence that exceptional circumstances justify the need for a longer award of alimony.”

Stefani Nolan, a Jacksonville attorney with Kenny Leigh & Associates, says the bill takes alimony reform to the next step. Kenny Leigh & Associates focuses on men’s rights in family law. “Even with moderate marriage or long term, it tells the judge what kind of alimony he or she is going to set, that’s never been defined before,” said Nolan.

By Kenny Leigh

Tell Us About Your Case

  • FREE eBook

    "15 Tips for Navigating a Divorce"


  • Receive Blog Notifications

    Recent Posts