When it comes to divorce and separation, one of the most crucial and often contentious aspects is alimony. In the state of Florida, alimony is a legal concept that aims to ensure fairness and financial stability for both parties involved. The Florida alimony reform bill which became effective as of July 1, 2023, and has a significant impact on the award of alimony.
Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, refers to the financial assistance that one spouse provides to the other during or after a divorce. The primary purpose of alimony is to address disparities in income and ensure that both spouses can maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce.
The bill has eliminated permanent alimony and now leaves four types of alimony. The current types of alimony that can be awarded are Temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative and durational alimony. As permanent alimony is no longer available it is important to understand that there are limitations on the length that each type of alimony can be awarded. Bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed two years, rehabilitative alimony may not exceed five years and durational alimony is determined on the length of the marriage and may not exceed the requesting spouses’ reasonable needs or a percentage of the difference in the Wife and Husbands income.
The person seeking alimony has a burden of proof to show the support is needed and there is an ability to pay such. The bill has also provided authorization for the Courts to reduce or terminate an award of support or alimony if specific findings and requirements are met to show the payor’s retirement.
Florida courts consider various factors when determining the type, amount, duration of alimony, and if alimony can be modified or terminated. These changes are substantial to the laws that encompass alimony in Florida. Alimony is a complex issue in a divorce and understanding your rights is crucial. If you are facing a divorce or separation and alimony is a concern, contact our office. Jessica Serrano, Esq. is experienced in these issues and family law to ensure you have guidance and representation through your divorce.