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What you should know about rehabilitative alimony

When a spouse first hears about rehabilitative alimony, it often strikes fear into his or her heart because it sounds so temporary. This is especially so if the spouse has not worked outside of the home for many years and doesn't yet have an income in place. While it is admirable to give up a career in order to support a spouse's business efforts, it can be detrimental should divorce enter the picture.

The first thing you should know about rehabilitative alimony in Florida is that is indeed meant to be temporary. At the same time, it is also a powerful tool for your self-development. Instead of leaving you "high-and-dry" with no source of income, this type of alimony is actually all about you and no one else. This support empowers you to blaze a trail towards your new future because it gives you time enough to establish your own method of self-support. You can use these funds in several ways, such as to:

  • Pay for a higher education
  • Learn a lucrative trade that is currently in demand
  • Take classes to improve your computer skills
  • Find an entry-level job and then improve your skills so that you can work your way up the ladder

One thing you should be cautious about is making sure that you can present the court with a written, very detailed plan that illustrates your path to self-sufficiency. Without such a plan in place, a court will likely deny you this form of alimony. An excellent approach is to seek advice from a lawyer to create your plan.

Together, you can discuss your goals and the kind of work or career you might enjoy. In turn, a lawyer can help you identify whether your plan is viable or if you should come up with alternate ideas.

Source: Florida Bar Journal, "Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony: 10 Years Later," Victoria M. Ho and Stephanie A. Sussman, accessed April 18, 2018

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