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Florida Alimony Reform Bill Stalls In Committee

Pillars

The attempts of some Florida lawmakers to eliminate permanent alimony in the state has again stalled, with the Florida Senate leaving the newest alimony reform bill in committee, where it will remain until next year. If passed, this law would have required courts to prioritize certain types of alimony and would have gotten rid of permanent alimony entirely. For a better understanding of Florida’s current spousal maintenance law, please reach out to our experienced Fort Lauderdale alimony attorneys today.

Attempted Changes

Senate Bill 1922, if passed, would have made it much more difficult for individuals to obtain long-term, ongoing support payments from a former partner. For instance, in addition to eliminating permanent alimony, the law would also have capped durational spousal support to a length of time equal to the length of the couple’s marriage. Another amendment would have allowed for more liberal terms for marriages lasting more than 20 years. In the face of stiff opposition, the supporters of Senate Bill 1922 have decided to go no further with the legislation during this session.

Current Alimony Law in Florida

For the time being, Florida alimony law will remain the same, which means that judges can still order any of the following types of alimony during divorce:

  • Temporary alimony, which only lasts for the duration of the divorce proceedings;
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony, which is a transitional type of alimony;
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which helps spouses pay for educational programs and vocational skill training to improve their chances of employability and self-sufficiency;
  • Durational alimony, which is usually awarded when the other types of alimony don’t fit a couple’s circumstances and can never exceed the length of the marriage; and
  • Permanent alimony, which is only awarded after lengthy marriages and will remain in place until the recipient remarries.

Which of these types of alimony is deemed appropriate in a particular case will still largely be dictated by whether the marriage qualifies as short-term (lasting fewer than seven years), moderate-term (lasting more, but fewer than 17 years), or long-term (lasting more than 17 years). Permanent alimony is much more likely to be awarded for couples who are ending a long-term marriage. Otherwise, courts generally prefer to award one of the other forms of alimony, which can help a lesser earning spouse become self-sufficient without overly burdening a former partner. Other factors that could affect an alimony award include:

  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • Whether the couple shares children;
  • Whether one spouse was primarily responsible for childcare during the marriage;
  • Each party’s employability and education; and
  • The value of both parties’ separate assets.

For help determining how these factors could weigh in your own divorce case, please call our office today.

Set Up a Free Case Review Today

To speak with an experienced alimony lawyer about whether you qualify for or could be required to pay alimony after divorce, please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. You can set up a meeting by calling our office at 954-945-7591, or by completing one of our online contact forms.

Resource:

sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-nsf-florida-scraps-alimony-reform-effort-20210420-djh6crwrorhzflbxn57nczgwma-story.html

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