Alimony Reform Bill Introduced In Florida Legislature
Recently, Florida lawmakers introduced an alimony reform bill that, if passed, would have a significant impact on how and when spousal maintenance is awarded in the state. Among other changes, the law would, for instance, allow courts to take marital misconduct into account when making alimony determinations. If enacted, the law would apply to all divorce petitions filed or pending on July 1st of this year, as well as to some supplemental petitions to modify alimony. To learn more about how the new alimony reform package could affect your own legal rights during and after divorce, reach out to our legal team today.
Eliminating Permanent Alimony
One of the most significant changes introduced by the alimony reform bill would be the elimination of permanent alimony in the state. The law would still, however, allow for the award of temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational alimony, which could take the form of either periodic or lump sum payments. The new bill also limits how long a person can collect certain types of alimony. Bridge-the-gap alimony awards, for instance, would be limited to two years, while rehabilitative alimony can last no longer than five years. Durational alimony, on the other hand, will last for an amount of time dictated by the length of the marriage.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that courts do not typically take one spouse’s wrongdoing into consideration when granting a divorce. If enacted, however, the new law would allow courts to consider the adultery of either spouse, as well as its resulting economic impact when determining how much alimony to award in a particular case. In addition to spousal conduct during the marriage, courts will also be directed to consider other specific factors when determining alimony, including:
- Whether the person seeking support has an actual need for financial assistance and whether the other party has the ability to provide it;
- The parties’ standard of living during the marriage and their anticipated needs once the divorce is granted;
- The duration of the couple’s marriage;
- The parties’ ages, physical health, and mental condition;
- The income and financial resources of both parties;
- The parties’ earning capacities, education, and employability;
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage; and
- The responsibilities of each party in raising their children after divorce.
For help determining how these factors could affect a court’s assessment of your own right to either pay or receive alimony, reach out to our office today.
An Experienced Fort Lauderdale Alimony Lawyer
If signed by the governor, the new alimony reform package could have significant repercussions for divorcing couples across the state of Florida. For help with your own alimony-related questions and concerns, don’t hesitate to call dedicated Fort Lauderdale alimony attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. You can set up a free consultation by calling a member of our legal team at 954-945-7591 or by completing one of our online contact forms. We are standing by and eager to get started on your case.