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Alimony in Florida a consistent challenge amid proposed changes

| Apr 28, 2021 | Alimony |

When a Florida couple divorces, one of the most complex issues to navigate is alimony. Of course, in some cases, there is room for negotiation amid cordial relations and they can agree on how much the alimony will be. In others, there is a major gap. The paying former spouse will have an idea of what he or she believes is fair while the other party will likely have a different interpretation. This disparity as to what is considered reasonable has resulted in legislators trying to change the law. People getting a divorce should be cognizant of the current laws, potential changes on the horizon and how their case is impacted regardless.

Attempt to change alimony law shelved for the time being

Legislators were trying to fundamentally alter the alimony laws in the state, but that attempt has currently been put on hold. The dispute is viewed as focusing on people who earned money in a relationship and those who are stay-at-home spouses. The wage earners assert that they are forced to continue working longer than their potential retirement age because alimony makes it impossible to stop working. In the latest attempt, permanent alimony would end and the duration for which it must be paid would be reduced.

As the law stands now, there are five types of alimony: temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational and permanent. All are awarded based on the circumstances and what the court deems fair and necessary. If this law were to pass, judges would also have greater freedom to lower or end alimony if the person receiving alimony is being supported by another person in the 180 days before a modification petition was filed. Some believe that former spouses who are receiving alimony might avoid remarrying because they do not want the payments to end.

Facing the difficulty of divorce and alimony may require legal assistance

Despite the decision to put this proposal on the back burner, it does not change the reality that alimony is a difficult, complicated issue with many layers. The current laws and possible changes that might be put into effect should be understood from the start. When moving forward with a divorce, there are personal, financial and emotional challenges that inevitably arise. People may not consider legal wrangling as their case proceeds. Still, it is wise to be cognizant of the law and how determinations are made in what will be paid, how long it will last and more. Consulting with experienced professionals can provide help in these and other family law circumstances.