March Madness: Florida Alimony Reform Update

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Alimony on Friday, March 6, 2015.

March starts the new legislative session. For alimony reform, a House bill has already been filed which changes alimony. And we’ll have an insulting new name for marriages, they’ll be called: Low End Marriages.

I’ve written about alimony reform before. Florida may be getting alimony guidelines, which may take some guess work out of alimony, but many will be unhappy with the amounts and length of alimony.

How much will your alimony be? The bill proposes two ways to calculate alimony: one for High End marriages, and one for Low End marriages. Whether your marriage is “high end” or “low end” depends upon how long it lasts.

If the marriage is more than 20 years long, than it’s a High End Marriage. If 20 years or less, it’s a Low End Marriage.

Alimony in Low End Marriages

The low end of the alimony amount range is a simple calculation: (0.0125 x the years of marriage) x the difference between the monthly gross incomes of the parties.

Ex) For a 20 year marriage, where the Husband and Wife have a $10,000/month difference in income, the presumptive alimony award would be $2,500/month.

Alimony in High End Marriages

The high end of the alimony amount range is calculated at a 2% of the term of the marriage: (0.020 x the years of marriage) x the difference between the monthly gross incomes of the parties

Ex) In a 21-year marriage, where the Husband and Wife have a $10,000/month difference in income, the presumptive alimony award would be $4,200/month.

How Long Will Alimony Last

How long will alimony last? That will also be a calculation too. If the marriage is Low End, the duration is 25% of the length of the marriage. If High End, the term would be 75% of the length.

Ex) For a 20 year marriage, the presumptive alimony term would be 5-years.

Ex) For a 21 year marriage, the presumptive alimony term would last 15.75 years.

If this passes, you’ve got to at least love Florida’s official new terms for marriages as “low end”. Really? Why not call them “Trailer Trash Marriages”?

This is not an opinion blog, but really, who thought THAT up? How much alimony is a judge likely to award in a “low end”, cheap marriage?

If the legislative intent was to insult the institution of marriage, officially calling them “low end” is a great way to do it.

There will likely be changes to the bill. Whatever its final version, alimony reform in Florida appears likely. I’ll have more to say on Florida Alimony Reform in other posts.

The House bill is available here.

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