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Duration of Alimony by Type

One of the most common questions asked about alimony in a Tampa or Orlando divorce is “when do the alimony payments typically end?” Overall, how long alimony lasts can be determined by a written mutual agreement between the parties. If the parties cannot agree, the Judge may award a duration based on an evaluation of the alimony factors and the specific facts of the parties’ case. Additionally, there are specific rules on duration that depend on the type of alimony.

  • Bridge the gap alimony: The length of bridge the gap alimony cannot exceed 2 years. Accordingly, the longest this type of alimony could last is 2 years. 
  • Rehabilitative alimony: Rehabilitative alimony terminates upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan. The length of the rehabilitative plan depends on each individual case, since it may take different individuals varying lengths time to acquire skills, education or training necessary to get back on their feet. 
  • Durational alimony: The length of an award of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage. For example, if the parties were married for 12 years, the longest an award of durational alimony could last is 12 years. 
  • Permanent alimony: Permanent alimony may only terminate upon death, remarriage or the existence of a supportive relationship. These concepts are discussed more here
  • Lump Sum alimony: Lump sum alimony cannot be terminated before the sum ordered or agreed to is paid. 
  • Temporary alimony: Temporary alimony is for financial support during the divorce process. Accordingly, this type of award automatically ends once the divorce becomes final.

It is important to remember that some of the above types of alimony could terminate before the agreed to end date or the court ordered date under special circumstances. Learn more by clicking here

 Practice Pointer - CAUTION: Lump Sum Alimony

Remember that lump sum alimony is where the court stipulates a fixed amount to be paid at once or in installments for a definite period. It is important to remember that lump sum alimony cannot be terminated before the sum ordered or agreed to is paid. You should always keep this mind when considering lump sum alimony as an option. 


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