Understanding Alimony: Traditional Versus Modern Notions of Support By Jeff Weissman, Attorney at Law

Alimony is among the more complex areas of law that involves large stakes due to the transactional nature of one spouse supporting another. The following summary offers a look at the initial purposes of alimony compared to how it is used today.

The concept of alimony originally came about as a means of support from the working partner, or the financial provider for a couple, to a former spouse who was in need. Alimony served as a way to assist the support recipient in maintaining their standard of living after a dissolution of marriage action.

While the laws have changed dramatically over the years, alimony still offers an arrangement in which one spouse offers financial support to the other. Today, there are six common types. Temporary alimony is paid during the pendency of a divorce proceeding. Bridge-the-gap alimony is paid in short-term marriages and lasts for approximately two years after the divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is paid to help transition someone who has sacrificed his or her career goals during the marriage into becoming self-supporting. Durational alimony is paid in moderate-term marriages and can last up to the full length of the marriage. Permanent alimony is paid until either party dies or the recipient remarries, and is reserved for long-term marriages. And, lastly, lump-sum alimony offers a one-time payment after the divorce has been concluded.

About the Author:

Jeff Weissman is a practicing marital and family law attorney at Gladstone & Weissman, PA, in South Florida.

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Jeff Weissman Attorney

Board certified in Marital and Family Law, attorney Jeff Weissman has been called to present at numerous conferences and seminars. He also authored the Parental Relocation Law, Section 61.13001, which was enacted in the State of Florida in 2006. Jeff Weissman has presented regularly for the Florida Bar Association, Family Law Section. In late 2010, Weissman spoke on practical and theoretical aspects of evidence within a family law context. Earlier that year, he gave a seminar on practice and procedure, which was attended by over 1,000 attorneys and other legal professionals from across Florida. In 2009, Jeff Weissman led seminars on equitable distribution and development of time-sharing parenting plans. He also moderated a judicial panel on parental relocation issues. These events each attracted hundreds of legal professionals. In addition, Weissman led basic family law seminars in Miami and Tampa, covering issues such as attorney’s fees, methods for determining jurisdiction, and practices and procedures. Jeff Weissman has also accepted speaking engagements in the corporate sector. Jeff Weissman studied at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduating in 1994. He has focused on family and marital law since that time, and he has served as a Partner at Gladstone & Weissman, P.A. for more than a decade. Weissman holds two Florida Supreme Court certifications: as a Mediator and a Guardian Ad Litem. He has been recognized with numerous professional awards, including repeat listings in Florida Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America.

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