How to Avoid Paying Alimony in Jacksonville?

March 7, 2024by Adam Sacks

Are you concerned about potentially paying alimony? Here are some steps that may help reduce or eliminate alimony payments.

More women than men receive alimony, with only about 3 percent of alimony awards going to men. Although relatively few marriages end with alimony awards (only about 10 percent). [1]


What Types of Alimony Are There in Florida?

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a key component of divorce proceedings. It is designed to provide financial assistance to a lower-earning or non-earning spouse following the dissolution of a marriage.

In Florida, alimony can be awarded in various forms, depending on the specific circumstances of the divorcing couple. The court takes into account a range of factors, such as the length of the marriage, the financial resources of each spouse, the contributions made during the marriage, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

The most common type of alimony in Florida is “bridge-the-gap” alimony. This form of support is intended to provide temporary assistance to a spouse who needs help transitioning from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony typically lasts for a maximum of two years and cannot be modified by the court.

Another type of alimony in Florida is “rehabilitative” alimony, which is meant to assist a spouse in obtaining the necessary education or training to become self-supporting. This form of alimony is usually awarded when the recipient has a clear and defined plan for achieving economic self-sufficiency. Rehabilitative alimony may be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances or upon fulfillment of the rehabilitative plan.

“Durational” alimony is awarded when permanent alimony is considered inappropriate, but a spouse still requires financial assistance for a specific period. This type of alimony is generally granted for a set amount of time, often corresponding to the length of the marriage. Durational alimony may be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances, but the length of the award cannot be modified except under exceptional circumstances.

The final type of alimony in Florida is “temporary” alimony, which is awarded by the court during the divorce proceedings. Its purpose is to provide immediate and temporary financial support to the dependent spouse until a final determination is made regarding the type and amount of alimony to be awarded.


Thirteen percent of marriages in Florida end in divorce according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Until July 2023, judges had different options to award alimony in a divorce case; Bridge-the-gap, Rehabilitative, Durational, and Permanent. Now permanent alimony isn’t an option. [2]


What Types of Alimony Are There in Florida?


Live Frugally to Avoid Paying Alimony

Living frugally simply means being mindful of how you spend your money and making intentional choices to cut back on unnecessary expenses. By adopting a frugal lifestyle, you can both save money and present a modest financial picture to the court, which may influence the determination of alimony payments.

One of the most effective ways to live frugally is by creating a budget and sticking to it. Start by assessing your monthly income and subtracting all your necessary expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and transportation costs. Once you have a clear understanding of your essential expenses, identify areas where you can cut back.

This might mean reducing dining out, canceling unused subscriptions, or downsizing your living arrangements. By doing so, you not only save money but also demonstrate to the court that you are living within your means.


Help Your Former Spouse Be Successful In The Workforce

Here are some ways to help your former spouse be successful in the workforce:

Encourage Education and Skill Development: Encourage them to pursue relevant education and training programs that can enhance their professional skills and improve their job prospects.

Networking Assistance: Use your professional network to introduce them to contacts in their field of interest. Networking can be invaluable in securing job opportunities and career advancement.

Share Knowledge and Resources: Share any industry insights, articles, or useful resources that may benefit them and help them stay updated on trends and developments in their field.

The more financially stable your ex-spouse is independently, the less they will need to depend on alimony payments.


Work Out An Agreement to Avoid Paying Alimony

While the court typically decides on the alimony amount and duration based on various factors, many couples find themselves trying to work out an agreement privately to avoid paying alimony altogether.

By taking the initiative to negotiate and come to terms with each other, couples can save themselves from the financial burden of alimony payments and maintain a more amicable relationship post-divorce.

Both parties must be willing to discuss their financial positions, income stability, and potential future earning capacity. This transparency allows each spouse to understand their financial obligations and make informed decisions about dividing assets or providing financial support.

Explore options such as lump-sum payments, property settlements, or restructuring debts to provide a sense of financial stability for both parties involved. These alternatives offer flexibility and can be tailored to each spouse’s individual circumstances, allowing for a fair distribution of assets without the long-term commitment that alimony entails.

By working together to find a mutually agreeable solution, couples can maintain a more peaceful and cooperative relationship, which is particularly important when children are involved.


Work Out An Agreement to Avoid Paying Alimony


Build A Cohabitation Clause Into Your Settlement Agreement to Avoid Paying Alimony

A cohabitation clause is a provision in a divorce settlement agreement that outlines the circumstances under which spousal support payments can be modified or terminated. It typically states that if the recipient spouse enters into a new cohabitation or marital relationship, their entitlement to alimony will be affected.

By including a cohabitation clause in your settlement agreement, you can protect yourself from having to pay spousal support for a longer duration. This clause allows for a reassessment of financial support obligations if your ex-spouse decides to live with a new partner or get remarried.

This ensures that you are not financially responsible for supporting a former spouse who is now receiving support from someone else.

It promotes self-sufficiency and discourages reliance on spousal support when the recipient can support themselves.

If you need support with divorce, child custody, or alimony in Jacksonville, book a free consultation with Sacks & Sacks today!



Q. How long is alimony typically awarded?

There is no fixed timeframe for how long alimony is typically awarded. It can be awarded for a temporary period to provide support during a transition or rehabilitative alimony to assist a spouse in acquiring education or skills to achieve financial independence. The court carefully considers factors such as the length of the marriage, financial needs, and earning potential of both parties when determining the duration of alimony.

Q. Can I hire a lawyer to help me with alimony issues?

Yes, you can hire a lawyer to help you with alimony issues. It is often recommended to consult with a family law attorney who specializes in alimony cases. A lawyer can provide valuable legal advice and guidance, help you understand your rights and obligations regarding alimony, and advocate for your interests during negotiations or in court if necessary. They will have the expertise and knowledge of alimony laws in Jacksonville to ensure that your case is handled properly and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Q. What factors does the court consider in determining alimony in Jacksonville?

In Jacksonville, the court considers several factors when determining alimony. These factors include the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the financial resources of each party, the contributions of each party to the marriage, and the earning capacity, education, and employability of both individuals. The court may also consider the age and health of the individuals, as well as any other relevant factors that could impact one’s ability to provide for themselves financially. The court’s goal is to ensure a fair and reasonable arrangement that considers the needs of both parties involved.



[1] Kahn, S. (2023, July 26). A New Alimony Law Makes Florida Even Less Safe for Women – Ms. Magazine. Ms. Magazine.

[2] Turbeville, R., & Butler, C. (2023, July 6). Florida eliminates permanent alimony.

by Adam Sacks

Adam Sacks is lead Family Law Attorney at Law Offices of Sacks & Sacks, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a BA in Psychology from 1994, and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1999 from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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