Possible Changes Coming For Florida’s Alimony Statute
Alimony can be a contentious subject in a Florida divorce, and lawmakers have recently approved legislation that if signed by the Governor, could result in considerable changes to how the process works. The Florida Senate bill and the House version will overhaul key aspects of the existing statute. In general, the legislation eliminates some types of alimony, limits others, and expands the factors a court can consider when awarding spousal support.
The new law could become effective as early as July 2023 if the governor signs, and would apply to any cases pending on that date or filed afterwards. Whether you may seek support or be required to pay, it is essential that you understand how the amendments apply. Your Dade City alimony lawyer tracks all new developments in divorce laws, ensuring you can take advantage of changes where possible. They include:
No Permanent Alimony: Florida’s current statute allows spousal support to be paid on a permanent basis, and the new measure will eliminate it. Going forward, there are four types of alimony:
- Temporary, which is paid for a period of years;
- Bridge-the-gap, a form of short-term support that aims to help a lower earning spouse transition from married to single life;
- Rehabilitative, enabling the recipient to become self-supporting through training or education; and,
- Durational, in which the term of payments cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
The proposed legislation does not change provisions on alimony pendente lite, which a court may order a party to pay to the other while the divorce is pending.
Duration of Marriage: The length of the marriage impacts a court’s decisions on alimony, so the new statute would clarify terminology. A short-term marriage is less than 10 years, a moderate-term is 10 to 20 years, and a marriage longer than 20 years is considered long term. The bill states:
- There is a limit of 2 years on bridge-the gap alimony.
- Rehabilitative alimony may not exceed 5 years, allowing the recipient time to re-enter the workforce and contribute to their own support.
- Durational alimony may last up to 50 percent the duration of a short-term marriage, 60 percent for a moderate-term marriage, and 75 percent in the case of a long-term marriage.
Adultery in Alimony Awards: There are numerous factors a court can consider when awarding alimony and determining the type and duration. Changes to Florida’s alimony statute allow a judge to review adultery by either of the parties and the resulting economic impact in considering the amount.
Talk to a Dade City Alimony Attorney to Learn More About the Changes
There are additional provisions included in the bill that will come before the governor for signature, so there could be ramifications for your divorce case. To learn how our team assists with alimony matters, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane to set up a consultation. You can reach our offices by calling 352-567-0055 or going online. A Florida alimony lawyer can advise you after learning more about your case.