Proposed new alimony law already having an effect

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Florida Family Law

Alimony is a common area of disagreement in Florida divorces and proposed new laws have added to the challenges. This is a factor in many cases, especially those involving young professionals who have been fortunate enough to lead a relatively affluent lifestyle and are concerned as to what the future holds. Keeping current on the possible new law is important in a family law case.

Change to alimony law waits for governor’s signature as cases stagnate

With the recently passed bill set to change alimony laws in the Sunshine State, not only will pending family law cases change how alimony is handled, but it will change cases that were already decided. Once passed, the bill will end permanent alimony. If, for example, a doctor is divorcing their spouse, they will not be obligated to support them with no end date and pay for them to maintain the lifestyle they had during the marriage. That might include a home, a vacation property, automobiles and expensive trips.

As the law stands, alimony is permanent when the receiving party is unable to support themselves financially after the divorce. In some instances, there is alimony for a finite period. Depending on the circumstances, it can hinge on how long the couple was married. For a couple that was together as they were building their careers, it can be more complicated to determine how much alimony will be and how long it will last. The litany of changes that it will create is causing some to question whether it should be signed into law.

Along with alimony, the bill changes the child custody template to give guidance regarding parents sharing custody equally provided it serves the child’s best interests. There is a lack of clarity regarding how courts would decide to move away from a 50-50 split for custody. The bill is causing a backlog in cases as people wait to see whether it will be signed by the governor.

Being prepared for a divorce involves understanding the law’s impact

Having assistance with a divorce is important in any situation, but for people who are facing the prospect of needing to budget for alimony and knowing how it will affect their lives – even if they are successful – it is even more important. From the beginning, it is imperative to have informed assistance that is firmly entrenched in the law. Personalized care and attention are key, as is forging a realistic solution. That might include negotiating a settlement.