When you meet with your Broward divorce lawyer, he or she will explain to you that there is a four point analysis for the marital and family law judge to award alimony. First, the starting point is to determine the need of one spouse and the ability to pay of the other spouse. Next, it is important to determine how long you will need alimony and what type of alimony you should request. Divorce attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will explain to you the differences between permanent periodic, rehabilitative, bridge the gap, lump sum, temporary and nominal alimony. Next, the recipient spouse must have a need for alimony based upon the standard of living established during the marriage in order for the Broward marital and family law judge to determine the amount of alimony that should be awarded. Finally, the court must consider and make findings of fact relative to the factors enumerated in Florida Statute, 61.08 in awarding or denying alimony. For the purposes of this blog, I will discuss bridge the gap alimony.
Bride the gap alimony is typically awarded during a Broward divorce to fulfill a specific and limited purpose of meeting short term financial difficulties as a result of the transition from married to single life. Unlike rehabilitative alimony, bride the gap alimony is for a shorter duration of time. Your Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer will explain to you that bridge the gap alimony is typically awarded during a short term marriage of one to three years. However, there are no presumptions for or against this type of alimony.
There is no direct reference to bridge the gap alimony under Chapter 61, Florida Statutes. Rather, this form of alimony is recognized in many of the appellate districts in Florida. In the First, Third and Fourth districts, bridge the gap alimony is fully modifiable short term periodic payments. On the other hand, in the Second district, bridge the gap alimony is considered lump sum alimony payable in installments, is non-modifiable and generally does not terminate upon death or remmarriage.
Bridge the gap alimony can be awarded during a Ft. Lauderdale divorce in conjunction with permanent periodic alimony to meet the short term gap of financial need of a spouse where rehabilitative alimony is not appropriate. By definitional concept, bridge the gap alimony is for a short durational period not to exceed three years. The effect of remarriage on bridge the gap alimony is unclear.