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Florida’s New Alimony Law: What You Should Know

florida alimony lawFlorida’s New Alimony Law

Florida recently announced changes to its alimony laws. Families affected by alimony must understand these changes and determine whether any of the changes affect them.

‘Permanent’ alimony no longer exists in Florida. Understanding the state’s new law on divorce payments

What should you know about the changes?

What is Alimony?

Alimony refers to the court-ordered financial assistance paid by one spouse to another after a divorce. The amount and length of time for which alimony payments must be made depend on the couple’s circumstances.

Previously, Florida family courts recognized four different types of alimony:

  • Bridge-the-gap: Payments to support a spouse’s transition into single life and financial independence and not to exceed two years.
  • Rehabilitative: Payments that are part of a plan designed to help a spouse learn or regain skills that will help them become employable.
  • Durational: Payments made for a specific period, often based on the length of a marriage.
  • Permanent: Payments made for the duration of a spouse’s life.

The new law eliminates the fourth type of alimony, permanent alimony. However, it creates the possibility of a lump sum payment and temporary alimony. Additionally, rehabilitative alimony is now capped at five years and ends if the recipient-spouse completes the specific, defined plan early.

Changes to Calculation Methods

According to the updated law, the duration of alimony payments is based on the length of the marriage. Marriages are classified into one of three categories.

Short-term marriages are those that lasted for less than 10 years (it was previously seven). A moderate-term marriage is one that lasted 10 to 20 years (previously seven to 17). And a long-term marriage is now one that lasted 20 years or more.

Modifying Alimony Payments

The updated law also addresses issues related to alimony modification if conditions change upon retirement. Judges can reduce or terminate an existing arrangement. Factors that affect changes or termination include:

  • Age and health of paying spouse
  • Customary retirement age in the professional field of the paying spouse
  • Economic impact on the recipient spouse due to the reduction
  • Likelihood of the paying spouse returning to work and/or previous income

Alimony Termination and Modifications

Courts now also have more flexibility to adjust alimony payments based on the recipient’s job or living situation. The updated law specifies that any substantial change in circumstances, including cohabitation, may result in alimony modification or termination.

What Is the Impact on You?

Although the 2023 changes to Florida’s alimony laws may seem overwhelming. This is one of the reasons it’s important to work with an experienced attorney when making changes to your existing alimony arrangement. An attorney can guide you through the process and ensure you get the most favorable outcome. They’ll help you understand your rights and obligations under the updated law.

To learn more about the updated alimony law or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation, contact Geller Family Law at (813) 405-1509.

  • Call (813) 405-1509 anytime, or use this contact form, for your free initial consultation.
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