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Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, P.A
 

I haven't been married very long, but I may still need help getting back on my feet after a divorce. What options do I have?

Often times in a divorce, transitioning to post-marriage life without the support of a spouse’s income is one of the chief concerns of parties who earn less than their spouses, or who have not worked throughout the marriage. Although most people going through a divorce have heard of alimony—continuing financial support from one party to another during or after a divorce —many do not understand how implications such as the length of a marriage can impact the Court’s decision to award (or not award) alimony, and the certain types of alimony that are typically available to those in shorter-term marriages.

In Florida, a long-term marriage is one with a duration of 17 years or more. A moderate-term marriage has a duration of between seven and 17 years, while a short-term marriage has a duration of less than seven years. Permanent alimony (that lasts until the recipient spouse’s death or remarriage) is usually reserved for parties ending a long-term marriage. However, bridge-the-gap alimony and rehabilitative alimony are two types of support that are more frequently awarded to dependent spouses in shorter-term marriages.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded to help the party in need make the transition from married life to single life. It is designed to assist the former spouse with “legitimate, identifiable short-term needs,” and cannot exceed a period of two years. The party requesting alimony has the burden of proof, meaning they must prove that alimony is appropriate under the circumstances.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to assist the party in need in “establishing the capacity for self-support.” According to Florida Statute 61.08, this could apply to job training or further education, among other things. In order for the Court to award rehabilitative alimony, the party requesting support must demonstrate a need and specific and defined plan for rehabilitative action.

The technical aspects of divorce can be overwhelming. There are many other factors that may affect the Court's view of alimony in your particular case. Seek the representation of an experienced Florida divorce lawyer to guide you through this process. At the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, we understand that many of our clients are simply trying to make the best of a bad situation, and we work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for those we represent.

In addition to divorce matters, our firm also takes on cases involving child support, custody battles, relocation issues, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka.

For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Stephanie N. Mack, Board Certified Marital & Family Law Attorney

October 2, 2012
 
 
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