Monday, June 18, 2007
Bridge The Gap Alimony Coming To The 5th DCA?
For the longest time, the 5th DCA was the only circuit in all of Florida which did not recognize "bridge-the-gap" alimony. When a person is not entitled rehabilitative or permanent alimony, Judge's allow this type of alimony for a short period of time in order to do equity and justice between the parties. Basically, it allows Judges to award alimony when there is no real statutory way to award a party alimony. In a recent decision, Price v. Price, 2007 Fla. App. LEXIS 3423 (Fla 5th DCA), the Court stated in dicta that they saw no prohibition against awarded bridge-the-gap alimony, and if the right case came before them, they may set precedence on this issue. I like the idea of consistency throughout the circuits, however, I'm still not convinced that there is a legal basis for awarding bridge-the-gap alimony and see it as a tool for the Court's to do what they want in a given case. More and more people are getting stuck with alimony awards in short term marriages, where there really is no basis for such an award. We'll see how this plays out, but I do not doubt that one time in the not so distant future, we may see this issue before the Florida Supreme Court.