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Bridge-The-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony is alimony that may be awarded to assist a spouse in making the “transition from being married to being single.” Fla. Stat. § 61.08(5).  Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a spouse with short needs like utility and/or mortgage payments while that spouse is waiting for the house to sell. It may also help transition a spouse to a new life where they can become more financially independent. For example, bridge-the-gap alimony may be payments that help a spouse go through a brief training program that improves their employment prospects and ability to earn income. 

Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a spouse in making the transition from being married to being single.

Duration

It is important to remember that bridge-the-gap alimony “is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs.” Fla. Stat. § 61.08(5).  This is because the length of an award of bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years.

 Practice Pointer - Could bridge-the-gap alimony terminate prior to its court ordered end date?

Yes. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony may terminate before the court ordered end date. Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. Fla. Stat. § 61.08(5).

Modification

It’s critically important to remember that an award of bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified in amount or duration. Fla. Stat. § 61.08(5). While this is concerning for the paying spouse, such concerns are somewhat alleviated by the fact that these alimony payments may not exceed 2 years in length. On the other hand, the receiving spouse does not have to worry about the paying spouse lowering the amount or duration through modification. The paying spouse can count on the set amount they are receiving for the court ordered duration barring death or remarriage. 

Each individual's case is unique. It would be wise discuss your options with an experienced Tampa or Orlando divorce lawyer. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you determine what types of alimony are available to you (if any) and which type would be best for your unique situation. 

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