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Important Changes To Florida’s Alimony Law


Last year, Governor Ron DeSantis approved a new set of laws that made major changes to the current alimony rules in Florida. These changes officially went into effect last year and could have significant repercussions for divorcing couples across the state. Read on for an update on the most recent changes to Florida’s alimony laws.

Permanent Alimony Eliminated 

One of the biggest changes made by the alimony reform bill was the elimination of permanent alimony. This was a type of alimony that had no duration limit and only terminated upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse or the deaths of one of the parties. Permanent alimony was initially instituted to assist the lesser earning partners of those ending long-term marriages, but in recent years, the practice has come under fire as being unfair. Under the new changes, permanent alimony can no longer be awarded, even after the end of a long-term marriage.

Caps on Alimony Duration 

Although permanent alimony was eliminated, other forms of spousal maintenance remain in effect, including durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and bridge-the-gap alimony. Florida’s new alimony law instituted some caps on these awards. Rehabilitative alimony, for instance, is now capped at five years, while the term of durational alimony is now limited based on the length of the marriage in question. For instance, for a marriage lasting between three and ten years, the term of a durational alimony award cannot exceed 50 percent of the length of the marriage. For marriages of between ten and 20 years, however, awards are capped at 60 percent of the marriage’s length. Finally, alimony is limited to 75 percent of a marriage’s length for unions lasting over 20 years. Durational alimony is not permitted in cases where a marriage lasted less than three years.

It’s important to note that courts can use their discretion to exceed these terms when ordering alimony, but only under certain circumstances, as when the recipient has mental or physical disabilities, or is caring for a disabled child.

Caps on Alimony Payment Amounts 

Besides placing caps on the terms of alimony awards, the new alimony reform bill also puts limits on the amount that courts can award in durational alimony. Under these changes, durational alimony amounts must be equal to:

  • The recipient’s financial need; or
  • A maximum of 35 percent of the difference in the payor and the recipient’s incomes.

These new changes are not retroactive, which means that they don’t affect awards that are already in place, but will only take effect for divorce cases filed after July of last year.

Call Today with Your Alimony-Related Questions and Concerns 

If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, a careful legal strategy will be necessary to ensure that you get a fair alimony award. Call experienced Florida alimony attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to get started on your own case today. You can also set up a meeting with us by reaching out via online message.




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