What is Durational Alimony in Florida?
Going through a divorce can create a number of financial challenges — especially for the spouse who is in a more financially vulnerable position. Under Florida state law (Florida Statutes § 61.08), there are several different types of alimony that can be awarded to the financially disadvantaged spouse. Here, our Clearwater alimony attorney provides an overview of one of the newest types of alimony in Florida: durational alimony. Durational alimony is a type of spousal support that provides financial assistance to the disadvantaged spouse for a predefined period of time.
Durational Alimony May Not Exceed the Length of the Marriage
In Florida, durational alimony can be granted by a court when permanent alimony is deemed to be inappropriate. In most cases, durational alimony may be awarded following a “short-term” marriage or a “moderate-term” marriage. If a marriage lasts for less than seventeen years, a Florida court may decide that some type of ongoing alimony is warranted, but that permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. This is when durational alimony will be awarded. Florida state law clearly states that the term of durational alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage. For instance, if you got divorced after seven years, the maximum amount of time that durational alimony can be granted is seven years. Of course, it does not have to be awarded for seven years. A court may decide that a shorter-term award is more equitable.
Factors Florida Courts Consider When Awarding Durational Alimony
Similar to other forms of alimony, Florida law allows courts to consider a broad range of factors when determining how much, if any, durational alimony should be granted. Among other things, some of the most important factors that will be considered include:
- The future financial prospects of each party;
- The standard of living a spouse became accustomed to; and
- The sacrifices, if any, that each spouse made to support the relationship.
Other factors may be relevant as well. In fact, a Florida court has the power to consider any other factor that it deems material to crafting an equitable durational alimony award.
Durational Alimony and Modification
Durational alimony exists to offer financial support to the disadvantaged spouse for a predetermined period of time. As such, it is relatively difficult to modify the amount or terminate a durational alimony award. An even higher burden of proof applies in requests to change the length of the award as the relevant Florida statutes state that the length of a durational alimony award can only be modified in “exceptional circumstances”. That being said, if the receiving spouse remarries or passes away, durational spousal support obligations will terminate automatically.
Get Help From Our Clearwater, FL Alimony Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our top-rated Florida family law attorney has extensive experience handling all aspects of durational alimony cases. If you have any questions or concerns about spousal support, we are here to help. For a confidential case evaluation, please call us today at 727-584-2528. We represent clients in Clearwater, Largo, and throughout the region.