New Law Requires Different Formula For Calculating Durational Alimony In Florida
This summer, Florida’s new alimony law officially went into effect. While one of the biggest changes made by the bill was the abolishing of permanent alimony, this was by no means the only alimony-related change that could affect divorcing couples in the future. The new law, for instance, also requires the use of a different formula when calculating durational alimony. Read on to learn more about this formula and how it could affect your own alimony award.
Need and Ability to Pay
Under the new law, a person will only be able to receive alimony if he or she can prove that not only is there a financial need for the award, but that the other spouse has the means to pay it. If this burden has been satisfied, then the court can move forward with determining the amount of durational alimony, which will in large part be dictated by the duration of the marriage.
Duration of the Marriage
When calculating alimony, Florida courts look first to the duration of the marriage. Under the new law, a marriage lasting less than ten years is considered a short-term marriage, while a union of between ten and 20 years qualifies as a moderate-term marriage. Finally, a marriage lasting 20 years or longer is considered a long-term marriage. Durational alimony awards, which are granted for a set period of time, cannot be awarded following a marriage that lasted less than three years. Furthermore, the length of such an award cannot exceed the length of the marriage, nor can it exceed:
- 50 percent of the duration of a short-term marriage;
- 60 percent of the duration of a moderate-term union; or
- 75 percent of the duration of a long-term marriage.
The term of durational alimony awards can only be extended beyond these limits when there is clear and convincing evidence of both need and ability to pay. For help assessing how the length of your own marriage will come into play when calculating an alimony award, feel free to reach out to our legal team today.
Calculating Net Income
Besides the duration of the marriage, courts will also take other factors into consideration when determining the amount of an alimony award, including the reasonable needs of the payee. However, the amount decided upon cannot exceed 35 percent of the difference between the parties’ net incomes, which includes all payments to the individuals, such as wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, disability benefits, and retirement benefits. Alimony awards also cannot leave the payor with significantly less net income than the recipient, unless exceptional circumstances exist.
Call Today for Help with Your Alimony-Related Questions and Concerns
If you have questions about the new alimony law and how it could affect your own alimony award, please call experienced Fort Lauderdale alimony attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. You can get in contact with our legal team by calling our office at 954-945-7591 or by completing one of our online contact forms.