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Rehabilitative Alimony in Florida

Rehabilitative alimony is one of the forms of support available to a spouse in a Florida divorce. It is paid by the spouse who has the greater income and it is paid to the spouse who has a temporary need for it until that spouse can get back to full earning potential.

The classic example is a situation where a spouse was a nurse before the marriage. During the marriage the couple had children and that spouse quit being a nurse in order to stay home with the children. At the time the divorce was filed, the nurse found that there was a need to go back to school for several months in order to re-qualify for the nursing license and then spend additional time finding a job back in that occupational field.

In that situation, if the other spouse is able to pay it, the court may require that the greater income earning spouse pay the nurse's schooling and living expenses until the time comes when the nurse is re-certified and fully employed. Sometimes this solution to the financial problem makes it unnecessary to require permanent periodic alimony because, once the nurse is fully employed, the incomes of the two spouses are close to equal.

In order to qualify for rehabilitative alimony, an expert divorce lawyer for the underemployed spouse must set out a specific plan of how long the rehabilitation will take and how much the education and living expenses will be. If it takes additional time through no fault of the rehabilitating spouse, the court may extend the time through which the alimony will be paid. If that spouse does not make the effort to complete the rehabilitation, the court may relieve the other spouse from the obligation to continue paying.

Bottom Line: If in your divorce you need funds to get back into the workplace, your Florida rehabilitative alimony lawyer may be able to help you get them.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)


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Alimony in Florida can be requested when one spouse needs financial assistance. In order to qualify for alimony, the requesting spouse must prove need and that the paying spouse is financially able to make the payments. Alimony is typically a set amount which is paid monthly for a set period of time or until certain circumstances occur, such as remarriage. Alimony is not as common as one may think. The Florida divorce court can award temporary alimony until the final divorce hearing is held. Then, at the final divorce hearing, the court can order permanent alimony if it is requested and necessary.
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