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Permanent Alimony

If the receiving spouse does not have the financial ability to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were during the marriage, permanent alimony may be awarded to help the receiving spouse continue to meet those needs, necessities and the standard of living they had during the marriage. Fla. Stat. § 61.08(8).

When is Permanent Alimony Appropriate?

One part of determining whether permanent alimony is appropriate is determining the length of the marriage. In Florida law, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. Fla. Stat. § 61.08(4).

  • Long Term Marriage - Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the alimony factors.
  • Moderate Term Marriage - Following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate based upon clear and convincing evidence after consideration of the alimony factors. 
  • Short Term Marriage - Following a marriage of short duration if there are written findings of exceptional circumstances.  

Fla. Stat. § 61.08(8).

Permanent alimony is sort of like a last resort type of alimony. To award permanent alimony, the court must make a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties.  Id.

Permanent alimony is sort of like a last resort type of alimony. 

Termination & Modification

Permanent alimony could terminate early. An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. Additionally, the parties are free to modify permanent alimony based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship. 

Since permanent alimony binds the paying spouse potentially for the rest of their life, it is not very common. Permanent alimony is really only applicable in unique cases. To determine if permanent alimony is right for you, speak with an experienced Tampa or Orlando divorce lawyer. 

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