Alimony – Bridge the Gap Alimony in Florida
Bridge the gap alimony is appropriate where the receiving spouse is employed, possesses adequate employment skills, and requires no further rehabilitation.
“In contrast to permanent periodic alimony, ‘[b]ridge-the-gap alimony is designed to ease the transition of a spouse from married to single life.’ Hornyak, 48 So. 3d at 862. It ‘is most appropriately awarded in instances where the receiving spouse is already employed, possesses adequate employment skills, and requires no further rehabilitation other than a brief time to ease the transition to single life.’ Cohen v. Cohen, 39 So. 3d 403, 406 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see Wofford v. Wofford, 20 So. 3d 470,474 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (‘Bridge-the-gap alimony serves to assist a spouse already capable of self-support during the transition from being married to being single.’ (citation, internal quotation marks, and alteration omitted). ‘Where no rehabilitative plan is presented, a bridge-the-gap award must have a relatively brief durational limit.’ Hornyak, 48 So.3d 862; see Mills v. Mills, 948 So. 2d 885, 886 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007) (‘Bridge-the-gap alimony is to assist a spouse with any legitimate, identifiable, short-term need.’ (citation, internal quotation marks, and ellipsis omitted)). The Fifth District Court of Appeal en banc affirmed a twelve-month, bridge-the-gap alimony, where ‘the former wife ha[d] adequate employment skills and an exemplary employment record’ as not being an abuse of discretion. Engesser v. Engesser, 42 So. 3d 249,252 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) (en bane).” Beasley v. Beasley