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Understanding Florida’s 2023 Alimony Reform

The 2023 Alimony Reform in Florida brings sweeping changes to spousal support, affecting divorcing couples and even some ongoing cases. For personalized guidance, Brunelli Law is here to help you navi...
@admin 28 March 2023
Divorce Attorney Melbourne

The 2023 Alimony Reform in Florida represents a seismic shift in family law, affecting not only newly filed divorce cases but also certain pending cases. Signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 30, 2023, it’s important to understand its implications fully. Here are the key takeaways:

Elimination of Permanent Alimony

The reform does away with permanent alimony, replacing it with four specific types: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational alimony. This enables the court to tailor alimony awards more closely to individual circumstances, with the option for lump-sum or periodic payments.

Adultery Can Impact Alimony

Courts are now allowed to consider the impact of adultery on the couple’s financial situation when determining alimony. This could result in either an increase or decrease in alimony payments.

Nine Factors for Consideration

For an alimony award to be granted, courts are required to weigh nine key factors. These range from the financial needs of the petitioning spouse and the paying spouse’s ability to meet these needs, to more nuanced considerations like the couple’s standard of living, the length of the marriage, and their overall health and contributions to the marriage.

Duration of Marriage

The law now categorizes marriages based on their duration: short-term marriages last less than 10 years, moderate-term between 10 and 20 years, and long-term exceed 20 years. This classification influences the type and length of alimony that may be awarded.

Bridge-the-Gap and Rehabilitative Alimony

The law introduces specific types of alimony designed for transitional periods. Bridge-the-gap alimony can last up to two years and aims to help the receiving spouse adapt to single life. Rehabilitative alimony can be granted for up to five years to enable a spouse to acquire the necessary skills or education to become financially independent.

Limitations on Durational Alimony

Durational alimony comes with new restrictions based on the length of the marriage. These limitations ensure that the alimony duration is a reasonable fraction of the marriage’s length and can be extended only under special circumstances, which involve multiple considerations like age, disability, and financial resources.

Financial Equity

One of the guiding principles behind the reform is to maintain financial balance. Alimony awards must not leave the paying spouse with significantly less net income than the receiving spouse unless exceptional circumstances warrant it.

Modifying Alimony at Retirement

Alimony payments may be modified or terminated when the paying spouse reaches the standard retirement age, as per Social Security Administration guidelines. This provision is particularly impactful for those nearing retirement and concerned about their financial responsibilities.

The new alimony laws represent a comprehensive reevaluation of how spousal support is handled in Florida. If you have further questions or need a consultation, feel free to contact us at Brunelli Law. Our doors are always open, and we are here to help.

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