In Florida divorce cases, one topic that is consistently in dispute is alimony. This is true from the perspective of the paying party and the receiving party. Whether it is a high-asset divorce or a more modest case, it is imperative to be aware of how the amount is calculated.
There has been recent debate as to the state’s laws surrounding alimony. After many months, a substantive change is going into effect with Gov. Ron DeSantis signing into law a bill that fundamentally alters alimony in the Sunshine State. It is essential for people to be fully aware of how the law will differ from what it previously dictated.
Permanent alimony has been eliminated in Florida
Among other aspects of the new law, a key provision is the elimination of permanent alimony. A previous version of the bill would have used a calculation that would have based alimony on the duration of the marriage, but the governor vetoed it.
Rehabilitative alimony—which is for the recipient to continue getting the payments until they can provide for themselves—will be limited to five years. Alimony will not be paid for marriages that were shorter than three years. People whose marriages lasted at least 20 years can receive alimony for three-quarters of the length of the marriage.
In addition to the end of permanent alimony, former spouses who are paying can ask for the amount to be modified when they are planning for retirement. Judges can assess the factors involved including the paying person’s age; their health; when those in their occupation generally retire; what reducing alimony means for the recipient; and if they are retiring just to change the alimony and plan to return to work.
People need to be prepared for how alimony has changed
There is spirited disagreement on both sides as to how the new alimony laws will change the landscape in a divorce. This is problematic for those in a high net worth divorce and those who are not as fortunate. As with any family law case, it is essential to have a full understanding of what this means and to take steps to tailor the strategy to reach a positive result regardless of the point of view.