Good-bye to Permanent Alimony in Florida
It’s been in the works for a while now, and many hoped it would never come to this: but an overhaul to Florida’s alimony laws was signed into law this year, and the changes will be monumental.
SB 1416: Alimony Recipient’s Take on it
Under SB 1416 permanent alimony has been eliminated, and replaced with a new formula that calculates alimony based on the length of a marriage. For women in the “First Wives Advocacy Group”, the news is crushing. The group is composed primarily of older divorcees who say their lives will be turned upside down without the alimony payments they currently receive. They made other concessions in divorce in order to be guaranteed lifetime alimony, they say, and if the law impacts them by taking away their alimony, it will be truly unfair. Many recipients don’t have the financial means to fight their ex for their alimony, to boot. Detractors of the law contend that many older women will be financially devastated as a result of the law and believe the erosion of their stability is one more attack on families in Florida.
On the Other Hand…
In contrast to the testimony from members of the women’s group, former spouses who claim they’ve had to work well beyond the age they’d hoped to retire pleaded with lawmakers to get them off the hook for alimony payments and give them a chance to rest after a lifetime of work. They claimed their right to retire has been ignored for years with permanent alimony requirements in place, and the new law is a big win for Florida families. And proponents contend that agreements that were not modifiable previously will remain so.
In addition to eliminating permanent alimony altogether, the new law creates a process to modify alimony payments for payers who would like to retire. Judges may consider reducing support, or even terminating it altogether, if factors such as health and age support such a decision. They would also have to look at the impact changes would have on alimony recipients, as well as the motivation a payer might have for retiring, and the chances of that person later going back to work.
The play lays out the following changes:
- No alimony for anyone married less than three years.
- Durational alimony (marriage up to 10 years) cannot last longer than half the duration of the marriage.
- Those in moderate term marriages (10-20 years) may receive alimony for only up to 60 percent of the duration of the marriage.
- Those married 20+ years can receive payments for as much as 75 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Modifications may be sought if a recipient has had a supportive relationship within the past year.
- Judges won’t consider the need to maintain the quality of life experienced during a marriage.
Fighting for You
If alimony is one of the contentious issues facing your and your soon-to-be ex, the experienced and knowledgeable Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman can help. We always fight for the best possible outcomes for you! Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.