Understanding Rehabilitative Alimony in Florida
Marriage can be a game of give-and-take, especially when it comes to careers. One spouse may work full time, receiving promotions and developing a strong resume, while the other spouse stays at home, passing up educational and professional opportunities.
This system may work great for married couples who share expenses, but what happens after divorce? In many situations, spouses who did not work, or who worked only part-time, find it difficult to make ends meet without marital income. To help these spouses become self-sufficient, Florida courts may award rehabilitative alimony.
What is rehabilitative alimony?
Alimony is awarded when a lesser-earning spouse does not have the earning capacity for self-support after divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded in situations in which the receiving spouse has the ability to improve his or her earning capacity through additional training or education. The award helps the receiving spouse gain the skills, education or credentials needed to re-enter the workforce and become financially independent.
For example, rehabilitative alimony may be used to cover the cost of tuition at a community college or pay for career counseling sessions. Each award must be accompanied by a written plan, and the amount awarded is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the receiving spouse and the ability of the paying spouse.
Any award of rehabilitative alimony must be accompanied by a specific and defined rehabilitative plan. The plan must demonstrate that receiving spouse can realistically attain self-sufficiency by the end of the rehabilitative alimony period.
Can rehabilitative alimony be modified or terminated?
The duration of rehabilitative alimony varies depending on the circumstances. A receiving spouse may only need a few months to retrain before entering the workforce. On the other hand, a receiving spouse may need a four-year degree in order to attain self-sufficiency.
When awarding rehabilitative alimony, courts may set a termination date. Alternatively, a rehabilitative award may terminate automatically upon the successful completion of a specific milestone.
An award of rehabilitative alimony may be terminated or modified under certain circumstances. Like other forms of alimony, rehabilitative alimony may be terminated upon death of either the receiving spouse or the paying spouse. Rehabilitative alimony may also be modified if either spouse experiences a substantial change in circumstances.
But rehabilitative alimony is unique. The receiving spouse must follow the court-ordered rehabilitative plan. If the receiving party fails to comply with the plan, the court may modify or terminate the alimony award.
Contact us today for Assistance
If you have questions about rehabilitative alimony and other forms of alimony, you can contact our family law attorneys at Arwani Law Firm, PLLC. We have handled complicated high conflict divorces, and we are confident that our team can provide you with the legal assistance and attention that your case requires.