What You Need to Know About Florida Alimony Reform in 2023
Recently, a bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would greatly reform the alimony laws of the state. It is now on its way for Governor DeSantis to sign. If passed, the alimony laws in the Sunshine State will significantly change. The law will apply to all divorce cases that are still pending or filed on or after July 1, 2023 and to certain alimony modification cases. Below, our Brandon alimony attorney explains what you need to know.
The Elimination of Permanent Alimony
One of the main elements of the bill is that it will eliminate permanent alimony in the state. The four types of alimony that will remain are temporary, bridge the gap, rehabilitative and durational alimony. All forms of alimony except durational are fairly short-term. They all allow a spouse in need to get back on their feet after divorce, and obtain further training and education to help them obtain gainful employment. Durational alimony can continue for months or years after a divorce, depending on many factors, including the length of the marriage.
Adultery Can Be Considered
Adultery is a very common reason couples get divorced. The new bill, if passed, will allow family courts to consider an extramarital affair when making decisions about the amount of alimony to award. In order for this to apply, marital funds must have been spent on the affair. For example, a husband may have an affair and his wife wants a divorce but needs alimony to support herself afterward. If the husband spent household funds on the affair, a judge may determine that the wife deserves a higher amount of support.
Nine Factors to Consider in Alimony Decisions
The courts must start any alimony case by determining whether the spouse requesting it has a need, and if the person ordered to pay has the means. The person asking for alimony has the burden of proof to show the need and the ability to pay. Once this has been proven, the courts must then consider nine factors, according to the new bill. These are as follows:
- The standard of living during the marriage,
- The length of the marriage,
- The income and resources of the two sides, and the income accrued from assets, both marital and non-marital,
- The educational levels, earning capacities, and employability of the parties,
- The ability of both parties to obtain the necessary education or skills to support themselves,
- The contribution each person made towards the marriage, including child care, homemaking, and education,
- The responsibility each parent will have in raising children they have together, and
- Any other factor the court considers relevant.
Family courts will use the above factors to determine not only the amount of alimony, but also the type awarded.
Our Alimony Attorney in Brandon Can Provide the Legal Help You Need
The new alimony law may make the divorce process harder for some, which makes obtaining legal counsel even more important. At Koether Law, P.A., our Brandon alimony attorney has the necessary experience to help you obtain support, or defend against unfair claims for it. Call us now at 813-347-8193 or contact us online to book a consultation.