On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Alimony on Friday, April 5, 2013.

It looks like Florida alimony law will dramatically change again! The Florida Senate just passed Senate bill (SB 718), which makes drastic changes to Florida’s alimony statute. There is a similar bill floating around the Florida House floor. House bill (HB 231) passed easily in the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 14 to 4, and will now go to the House floor later this month for a final vote. Once Governor Scott signs the bills into law, Florida Statutes and the way courts can award alimony will change dramatically.

Here are some of the big changes coming our way:

  • Courts must impute income to an unemployed spouse.
  • There would be a presumption against alimony for short-term marriages.
  • Permanent alimony is eliminated.
  • A court couldn’t award alimony for more than half the length of the marriage without clear and convincing evidence.
  • The retirement of the paying spouse would become a substantial change in circumstances.
  • Alimony must be reduced or terminated if the payee spouse is in a supportive relationship.
  • The new law would apply to all orders entered before the bill became law, so the bill itself would be grounds for modifying or terminating alimony.
  • The bill would create a presumption in favor of equal time-sharing.

As the Associated Press reports:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would put an end to permanent alimony in the Sunshine State.

It’s the latest attempt by Florida lawmakers to set new guidelines for the emotional issue of spousal support after marriages dissolve. A similar bill died in the Legislature last year.

The version that cleared the Senate on a 29-11 vote Thursday would replace permanent alimony with spousal support that has a foreseeable end.

It also would make it harder to get alimony in short-term marriages.

The Florida House is considering similar legislation.

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