Analyzing Florida’s New Rules For Alimony
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently passed a measure that did away with permanent alimony and shifted many of the rules in favor of the payer of alimony. The rules will go into effect on July 1, 2023. In this article, we’ll discuss the changes that were made.
No more permanent alimony
The new rules will eliminate permanent alimony. Instead, Florida will recognize 3 types of alimony:
- Bridge the gap alimony – This type of alimony provides support for a limited period of time while the spouse is transitioning into their post-divorce life. As an example, a spouse may receive alimony while they are waiting for their home to sell. A spouse can receive this type of alimony for a maximum of two years. The agreement cannot be modified.
- Rehabilitative alimony – This type of alimony is designed to help a former spouse get education or training. It applies to spouses who spent most of their time as homemakers getting the education they need to become financially independent. A spouse must present a plan to the court that specifies how much time and money is needed to get the training.
- Durational alimony – When other types of alimony are insufficient to meet a spouse’s needs, the court may award this type of alimony. Under the new rules, a spouse may only recover alimony when a marriage has lasted more than 3 years. For marriages that lasted 20 years or longer, a spouse is entitled to recover alimony for 75% of the duration of the marriage.
Nine factors for determining alimony
Courts are now required to consider 9 factors when determining alimony. These include:
- Does the party seeking support have an actual need for support? Does the party paying support have the means to pay the support? The party seeking support must prove that they have financial need.
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical, and mental condition of the spouses
- Income and resources of both spouses
- Earning capacities and educational levels of both spouses
- Contributions that both spouses made to the marriage
- Responsibilities concerning the raising of children
- Any other factor that may influence when and why a spouse will need alimony
Length of the marriage
A short-term marriage is now a marriage that lasted for less than 10 years. A moderate-length marriage is one that lasted between 10 and 20 years. A long-term marriage is one that lasted over 20 years. A spouse would not be eligible for alimony in a marriage that lasted less than 3 years. For a short-term marriage, a spouse would be eligible for alimony 50% of the length of the marriage. For a moderate-length marriage, the number is 60%. For a long-term marriage, the number would be 75%.
Petitioning for a reduction or elimination of alimony
An alimony payer may now petition the court to have alimony reduced or eliminated once they reach retirement age. This was a major sticking point for those advocating alimony reform. A party paying alimony could not retire because they could not afford to. Now, they will be able to petition the court for a reduction or elimination of alimony.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Family Lawyer Today
Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of those who are seeking divorce or modifications of a divorce decree. Call our Tampa family lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin addressing your concerns immediately.