Proposed Changes to Florida’s Alimony Law

paternity- alimony

The Florida State House of Representatives is considering a new bill that could significantly change Florida’s existing alimony law.

The proposed legislation was filed in late February 2015 and is now making its way through committee.

If it is passed, the legislation may be effective and become law as soon as October 1, 2015. The bill in its current form would substantially change Florida’s current alimony law, as well as a variety of other domestic relations and family laws.  

If passed, the proposed legislation could:

  • End the requirement that alimony be classified as bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational or permanent in nature.
  • End the categorization of marriages as short, moderate, or long term based on their length.
  • Establish guidelines for the amount of temporary alimony that may be awarded while a case is pending.
  • Establish presumptive guidelines and a statutory formula for the establishment of full alimony, one effect of which is to eliminate future awards of permanent alimony
  • Change the legal definition of “income” for purposes of calculating alimony.
  • Place limits on a payor’s total support payments so that spousal support and child support together cannot exceed 55 percent of the payor’s NET income.
  • Establish procedures for payment of alimony to an alimony depository.
  • Change the legal definition of “supportive relationship” so that cohabitation is not necessarily required to prove a “supportive relationship” that would allow alimony modification.
  • Require written findings justifying factors used to determine an alimony award or modification.
  • Legally recognize that the parties may likely have a lower standard of living after divorce.
  • Permit alimony to be modified or terminated upon certain changes in actual income, or when a person paying alimony reaches retirement age.
  • Establish specific factors for judicial termination of alimony when a person paying alimony reaches retirement age.
  • Establish a procedure for courts to advance certain domestic relations actions on the court calendar upon party motion.

The proposed legislation was just filed at the end of February 2015 and is currently moving through the Civil Justice Subcommittee.  Please check our blog for more information.

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