When one spouse has a much higher source of income than the other, alimony may naturally become a topic during divorce negotiations. The court considers the need of one spouse and the other spouse’s ability to pay, among other factors.

If the Florida divorce court does decide to award alimony, it may be one of five different types.

  1. Bridge-the-gap alimony

Going from married to single takes money. One or both spouses have to find places to live, and this takes deposits or down payments on the new location, as well as utilities, moving trucks and other expenses. Someone may also need to purchase a vehicle if, for example, the couple only had one reliable car or one spouse’s new home is far away from his or her workplace.

A judge may order one spouse to pay the other bridge-the-gap alimony in one payment or several to help cover these expenses or others related to adjusting to single life.

  1. Rehabilitative alimony

Sometimes, all it takes for a spouse to become self-sufficient is training or education to develop new job skills. The other spouse may need to make monthly or semimonthly payments to cover the cost of the training and other living expenses during this time.

  1. Lump-sum alimony

To even out the circumstances of the spouses after divorce, the judge may order a one-time payment. Alternatively, one spouse may receive more of the marital assets.

  1. Durational alimony

Alimony payments may last for a limited period of time, and a spouse may make the payments monthly or semimonthly.

  1. Permanent alimony

Spouses rarely receive alimony payments that end only upon remarriage or death, but judges do occasionally determine that permanent alimony is necessary and appropriate. Often, factors such as age and poor health contribute to this decision, as a person may not have time or ability to develop job skills in these situations.