Florida Alimony Reform

Effective July 1, 2023, Florida’s alimony reform law went into effect. There were many changes to the Florida alimony laws which we are unpacking for you in this post. First, permanent alimony is now abolished in Florida. This means that in a Florida divorce, a spouse can no longer request that the other party pay them alimony for an undefined period. Previously, in long-term marriages, the court had the authority to award permanent alimony if there was a need for it, and the other party had the ability to pay. The new alimony reform law takes away the option of permanent alimony. The current options available are now lump-sum alimony, durational alimony, bridge the gap and rehabilitative alimony.

The new law also makes clear that in marriages of less than three years in duration, durational alimony cannot be awarded. The award of alimony is now limited to fifty percent of the duration of the marriage in short-term marriages, sixty percent of the duration of the marriage in moderate term marriages, and seventy-five percent of the duration of the marriage in long-term marriages. For this new law, a marriage of less than ten years is considered short term. Marriages between ten and twenty years are considered moderate term and marriages lasting more than twenty years are now deemed as long-term marriages.

The amount of durational alimony is now limited to the reasonable need of one party or an amount not to exceed thirty-five percent of the difference between the parties’ net incomes, whichever is less.

Another change to the alimony laws in Florida divorce cases is that a party who has reached reasonable retirement age can now petition the court six months in advance of their retirement date to seek a reduction or termination of their alimony obligation. The paying party would need to show that their retirement reduces their ability to pay alimony to the other party. The retirement of that party would need to be reasonable and occur at their retirement age based on social security guidelines or the retirement age customary in that parties’ industry.

For more information concerning Florida divorce or the Florida alimony reform, contact Vette Law at 561-531-9132.