Michael N. Bress, Esq. 

Alimony (or spousal support) is an allowance paid by one spouse to another for support during or after a legal separation or divorce. There are different types of Alimony, such as Bridge-the-Gap Alimony, Rehabilitative Alimony, Durational Alimony, Permanent Alimony, Temporary Alimony, or any combination of the foregoing. The court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony is ordered to assist a party to the transition from being married to being single. It is designed to assist a party with legitimate and identifiable short-term needs, and cannot be awarded for a period of longer than two years.  

Rehabilitative Alimony is ordered to assist a party in obtaining the ability for to support themselves through either the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials, or the acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop employment skills or credentials.

Durational Alimony is awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.

Permanent Periodic Alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors enumerated below. 

Temporary Alimony, also known as alimony pendente light, is alimony that is awarded during the pendency of a divorce case. 

In determining whether to award alimony, the court must determine whether either party has an actual need for alimony and whether the other party has the ability to pay. To determine the proper type and amount of alimony, the court shall consider various factors, such as:   

  • The standard of living established during the marriage;

  • The duration of the marriage;

  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party;

  • The financial resources of each party;

  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable a party to find appropriate employment;

  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;

  • The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common;

  • Any sources of income available to either party; and 

  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.


For purposes of determining alimony, the length of a marriage includes the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of a dissolution of marriage action. The following are rebuttable presumptions: a long-term marriage is a marriage of 17 years or longer; a moderate-term marriage is a marriage of 7 to 17 years; and a short-term marriage is a marriage of less than 7 years. 

Alimony and Child Support can also be awarded in an action unconnected with the dissolution of a marriage. If a person having the ability to contribute to the maintenance of his or her spouse and support of his or her minor child fails to do so, the spouse not receiving support may apply to the court for alimony and child support without seeking to dissolve a marriage. In such circumstances, the court shall order maintenance and/or support as the court deems just and proper.

If you require legal assistance in a divorce matter, you can contact Bress Law Firm, PLLC at (954) 336-8049, or by email at Michael@BressLaw.Com. Initial consultations are free and confidential. We are a Family Law Practice located in Aventura, Florida, but serve clients throughout Miami-Dade and Broward. By appointment only. 



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