Recent Attempts At Alimony Reform In Florida
A comprehensive alimony reform measure was recently adopted by Florida lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, although the bill has yet to be signed by the governor. If enacted, this law could have significant repercussions for divorcing couples across the state. To learn more about the changes made by these bills and how they could affect your own alimony award, consider reaching out to a Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer today.
Permanent Alimony Abolished
One of the biggest changes made by the recent alimony reform law was the abolition of permanent alimony in Florida. If enacted, the law would only allow for the awarding of the other three types of alimony, which include:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony, which is awarded to assist lesser earning spouses in the transition to post-divorce life and to cover short-term needs for no more than two years;
- Rehabilitative alimony, which is also intended to help the recipient spouse become self supporting through experience, education, and training and cannot exceed five years; and
- Durational alimony, which provides a lesser earning spouse with support for a specific period of time and cannot be awarded unless the parties in question were married for more than three years.
Permanent alimony, which in prior years, could be awarded upon the end of a long-term marriage will no longer be permissible if Governor DeSantis signs the reform package.
Limits on Durational Alimony
In addition to the abolition of permanent alimony, the new reform laws in Florida would place stricter limits on durational alimony, which can no longer exceed:
- 50 percent of the length of a marriage lasting between three and ten years;
- 60 percent of the length of a marriage lasting between ten and 20 years; and
- 75 percent of the length of a marriage lasting 20 years or more.
There is an exception to these limits in cases where a recipient spouse is permanently physically or mentally disabled. In these instances, or when a recipient spouse is an in-home, full-time caregiver for a disabled child, durational alimony can be extended until:
- The death of the child; or
- There is no longer a need for financial support.
A payor’s obligation to make durational alimony payments can also be terminated if he or she reaches full Social Security retirement age and:
- The payor files and serves a notice of retirement a year prior to retiring; and
- The recipient spouse doesn’t contest the notice within 20 days of receipt.
If a recipient spouse does contest the payor’s notice of retirement, he or she can only do so on certain grounds. If those grounds are satisfied, then a court will decide whether terminating or modifying the alimony award is fair based on a number of factors, including the duration of the marriage, the payor’s age and health, and both parties’ sources of income.
Have Your Case Reviewed by a Dedicated Alimony Lawyer
To speak with a Florida alimony lawyer about the potential changes to Florida’s alimony law, contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.