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What Is Alimony?

There are probably more myths in existence about alimony than any other factor in a divorce.

The concept of alimony was created many years ago at a time when the percentage of women who were either not working at all or were working in relatively low paying jobs was extremely high. The idea was that the husband in those divorces should be required to pay support to those women so that they would not end up on the welfare rolls and be forever supported by the taxpayers.

In a Florida divorce, alimony comes in three forms: Permanent periodic, Rehabilitative and Transitional.

For now, please understand that permanent periodic alimony is for long term marriages where one spouse is financially better off than the other. Rehabilitative alimony is to provide funds for a spouse to go from the present underemployed status to one of full employment at the highest potential. The purpose of transitional alimony is give a needy spouse a one-time amount of money so that the spouse can go from married life to single life without suffering severe financial difficulties in the transition.

We will go into greater detail as to each of these three forms of alimony in future articles.

Bottom Line: Talk to your divorce lawyer about whether the facts surrounding your marriage support a claim for alimony.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)


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An uncontested divorce means that the spouses agree on the division of marital property, alimony, and child custody, support, and visitation. The spouses sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to finalize the divorce. The cost of an uncontested Florida divorce is usually minimal. It generally takes 30 days after the parties sign the Marital Settlement Agreement for the court to finalize the uncontested divorce. This time will vary depending on how busy the courthouse is, but an uncontested divorce with both spouse's participation is typically the fastest.
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