New Alimony Reform Laws Go Into Effect
If you are getting a divorce in Fort Lauderdale, alimony payments can help you make the financial adjustment to living on your own. However, new alimony reforms laws recently went into effect on July 1, 2023. Our Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer explains key provisions of the new law and how it could impact your rights to these payments.
Alimony In Fort Lauderdale Divorce
Alimony is often awarded in Fort Lauderdale divorce cases when one spouse makes significantly less than the other or sacrificed their own career or education for the sake of the marriage. Under the Florida Statutes, there were previously four types of alimony available in divorce:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony, which helps the receiving spouse may the often difficult transition to supporting themselves financially;
- Rehabilitative alimony, which allows for payments while the receiving spouse gains the education, skills, or experience needed to reenter the workforce;
- Durational alimony, awarded for a specific period of time, such as while raising children from the marriage;
- Permanent alimony, in which payments continue until death or remarriage on the part of the receiving spouse.
Senate Bill 1416 proposed major reforms to the above system. While the other types of alimony are still available, there are some changes and permanent alimony is no longer available.
Changes In Florida’s Alimony Law Effective July 1, 2023
After months of heated debate, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1416 into law and it went into effect on July 1, 2023. In addition to ending permanent alimony, other changes include:
- Rehabilitative alimony is now limited to five years. It requires a plan of action and can be stopped if the receiving spouse completes the early.
- Durational alimony is barred in marriages lasting less than three years. The amount of time durational alimony is awarded depends on the length of the marriage.
- In marriages lasting three to ten years, durational alimony may be awarded for half of this time. The duration increases for longer marriages but is capped at seventy-five percent for marriages that lasted 20 years or longer.
- In the past, durational alimony sought to ensure both spouses continued to enjoy the same standard of living as during the marriage. Now, it is designed only to meet reasonable needs or up to thirty-four percent of the difference in income.
- There is a ‘wind down’ period for retiring former spouses making durational alimony payments, allowing them to reduce the amount they pay by 25 percent per year.
It is important to note that new alimony reform laws are retroactive, but do apply to new divorce cases and those currently in the legal system.
Request A Consultation With Our Fort Lauderdale Alimony Lawyer
Changes in Florida’s alimony law are raising concerns among people going through a divorce and those who recently ended their marriage. To find out more about alimony reform and how it might impact you, reach out to the law office of Vanessa L. Prieto. Call or contact us online and request a consultation with our Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer today.