Your Guide to Florida’s 2023 Alimony Reform (Permanent Alimony Ending)
According to a report from CBS News, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1416 (SB 1416) into law. It is a comprehensive reform package that, among other things, effectively ends permanent alimony in Florida. The bill has major implications for people in our state. Within this blog post, our Clearwater spousal support attorney provides an in-depth guide to Florida’s 2023 alimony reform.
Five Big Ways Florida’s 2023 Alimony Reform is Changing the Law
- Permanent Alimony is Ending in Florida
Here is the headline change: SB 1416 is ending permanent alimony in Florida. Courts will no longer be able to award permanent alimony in a divorce. Going forward, there are four different forms of alimony in Florida:
- Temporary Alimony: Spousal support paid on a temporary basis while a divorce is still pending.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: A transitional form of alimony designed to cover short-term needs of the obligee post-divorce. It is capped at two years.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: A form of alimony specifically designed to support the obligee’s education or job-training,. It is limited to five years.
- Durational Alimony: Alimony that is paid out for a prearranged amount of time, with a maximum benefit based on the length of the marital relationship.
- State Courts Can Now Consider Either Spouse’s Adultery (and its Financial Impact)
Florida’s alimony reform grants courts the authority to consider either spouse’s adultery—and the financial implications of the infidelity—when determining alimony payments. If one spouse’s extramarital affair led to considerable expenditure or negatively impacted the couple’s joint finances, this could be a factor in how alimony is calculated.
- Marriage Duration has Been Re-Defined Into Three Broad Categories
Florida’s alimony reform has redefined the duration of marriage, now segmented into short, moderate, and long-term marriages. Here is an overview of the revised categories:
- Short Term Marriage: Less than 10 years.
- Moderate Term Marriage: 10 to 20 years.
- Long Term Marriage: More than 20 years.
- Obligor May Not Have Significantly Less Net Income that Obligee (Emergency Exception)
Another key aspect for Florida’s alimony reform is that it states that courts may not require an obligor (the person paying alimony) to pay an amount that would leave them with substantially less net income than the obligee (the person receiving alimony). However, this does include a provision for emergencies.
- Obligor Retirement May Be Good Cause to Modify or Even Terminate Alimony
The retirement of the paying spouse is now considered a valid reason for modifying or terminating alimony. If the obligor does retire or makes a “good faith” attempt to retire, the court can take that into consideration and use their reduced income as justification to modify or even terminate spousal support.
Contact Our Clearwater Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our Florida alimony lawyer is committed to protecting the financial interests of our clients. Have questions about a spousal support case? We are here to help. Call us now or connect with us online to arrange your strictly confidential consultation. Our firm handles spousal support disputes in Clearwater and all across the surrounding area.