Permanent Alimony No Longer Possible In Florida
For years, the Florida legislature has been trying to reform alimony laws in the state. Now, they have been successful with SB 1416, which went into effect on July 1, 2023. The law includes a number of changes, including eliminating permanent alimony and changing the duration of alimony when marriages were of a certain length. A new formula for calculating alimony was also included in the new law. Below, our Brandon alimony attorney explains the new law further.
The Case For and Against Eliminating Permanent Alimony
The case for eliminating permanent alimony was largely based on the fact that payers were being forced to work much longer than retirement age simply so they could continue to afford their alimony payments. The law was also changed with the presumption that years after a marriage, recipients should have the means to support themselves. However, the issue has been hotly debated ever since it was first raised in the legislature. Critics of the law say that it will leave women without the support they need when they are older.
While both sides have made arguments for and against the new law, it has received very little public backlash. In fact, it has even received the support of both the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section and Florida Family Fairness, two groups who have had opposing views on the issue in the past.
Duration of Marriage and Alimony
Florida family courts have always been hesitant to award alimony in short marriages, and the new law addresses this issue, as well. Alimony can still be awarded in short marriages, which are generally considered those to have lasted seven or fewer years. For any marriage that lasted less than three years, though, alimony is not an option. Former spouses in a short marriage can receive alimony for 50 percent of the length of the marriage.
Any marriage that lasted between 7 and 17 years in Florida is considered to be of moderate length. Recipients of alimony after a moderate-length marriage can receive it for 60 percent of the length of the marriage. Long-term marriages, which last more than 17 years make one eligible to receive alimony for 75 percent of the length of the marriage. Exceptional circumstances may justify a longer duration.
Formula for Calculating Alimony
Prior to the new law, there was no set formula for determining alimony amounts. The new law changes that, as well. Now, the amount of alimony must be the less of the obligee’s reasonable need or an amount that does not exceed 35 percent of the difference between the net incomes of the two parties.
Our Alimony Attorney in Brandon Can Answer Your Questions
As with all new laws, the one pertaining to alimony in Florida has raised many questions. At Koether Law, P.A., our Brandon alimony attorney can answer them and give you the best chance of success with your case, whether you are asking for it or defending against unfair requests. Call us now at 813-347-8193 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.