Florida Alimony Changes: The Latest

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Alimony on Monday, April 22, 2013.

alimony changes are on our horizon. As the Miami Herald reports, the Florida House adopted the Florida Senate’s version of the alimony reform bill, SB 718, and passed it overwhelmingly by a vote of 85 to 31. The bill will now go to Governor Rick Scott for his signature on its way to becoming law. The effective date of the new law, if signed by the Governor, will be July 1, 2013.

Remember, this law may be retroactive. That means that even if your divorce has been over for a few years, the new law could impact you. I have alimony paying clients who can’t wait to modify their alimony awards.

So, what are some of the changes in store for Floridians? Highlights of SB 718 include:

  • The “standard of living enjoyed during a marriage” factor in alimony is gone.
  • There will be percentage caps on a paying spouse’s income which can be awarded as alimony.
  • Permanent alimony is eliminated in Florida.
  • The court may not award alimony for longer than half the length of the marriage, unless need is established.
  • A court must reduce or end alimony if the receiving spouse is in a supportive relationship.
  • There are also a couple of non-alimony changes which were slipped into the bill:
  • Florida’s new public policy is that equal time-sharing for parents is in the best interests of the children.

The law creates formulas for calculating the marital portion of non-marital real estate. For instance, in some cases people have used their salary to pay down the mortgage on their pre-marital house. Does the other spouse get some interest in that non-marital property? If so, how much?

The text of Senate bill SB 718 can be read here.