After a divorce, you may need alimony to help you get on your feet. If you sacrificed your career to take care of the home and children, you might have trouble finding a job that pays the bills. And since you must now support your own household and children, your paycheck doesn’t stretch very far. Support from your ex can help you get by without struggling.

But how long will you have before you can no longer rely on alimony? Depending on the judge’s decision, you may not have support forever. But when the court rules on alimony, they will consider multiple factors before imposing a time limit.

Different types of alimony have different term lengths

Florida courts can award four different types of alimony. These types are:

  • Bridge-the-gap – Temporary support that can only last for two years.
  • Rehabilitative – Temporary support to help a spouse develop work experience or go through training.
  • Durational – Longer-lasting support that may have a time limit.
  • Permanent – Support that will last until one person passes away or the receiving spouse remarries.

The judge may order one or a combination of these types of alimony. While they give general guidelines for how long the support lasts, the court makes a specific ruling based on the factors of a marriage.

The length of alimony depends on your marriage

When deciding on alimony, the court will ask many questions about your relationship and job history. These questions help them determine how your marriage and divorce will affect your earning potential. They may ask things like:

  • How long was your marriage?
  • How employable are you?
  • How much did you contribute to the household?
  • Did your contributions help your spouse develop a career?

The more you can prove that you spent a long marriage helping your spouse develop a high-paying career, the likelier you are to receive a long-lasting award.

Alimony supports you if you don’t have the training for a high-wage career

After a divorce, alimony can ensure you don’t have to struggle. But if you spent years forgoing a career, you may not be able to get the training needed to support yourself. If you can prove that your marriage prevented you from being successfully employed, you may be able to receive permanent support.