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What you should know about Florida’s changes to alimony

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2023 | Divorce

If you weren’t considering divorce earlier this year, you may not have noted that after years of debate among Florida politicians, permanent alimony is no longer an option for divorcing spouses. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law after state representatives removed language that would have made the change retroactive.

The new law also adds a new option called durational alimony that some spouses may qualify to receive depending on the length of the marriage. Two other forms of temporary alimony – rehabilitative and bridge-the-gap, remain options.

What is durational alimony?

A spouse can seek durational alimony if the couple has been married at least three years. The length of time they can receive alimony is dependent in part on the duration of the marriage. It cannot exceed 75% of the length of the marriage. If a couple was married for 20 years, for example, a spouse couldn’t receive alimony for longer than 15 years. 

Of course, other factors are still considered, such as both people’s age and health, the paying spouse’s other financial obligations and the “reasonable need” of the recipient. However, under the law, the amount can’t be greater than “35 percent of the difference between the parties’ net incomes, whichever amount is less.” Further, if the spouse receiving alimony remarries, the other spouse is no longer required to pay. 

As noted at the top, the new law isn’t retroactive. It won’t affect support agreements that were in place before it took effect on July 1. However, if you have a modifiable agreement, you can seek a change based on the new law. You would still need to make your case for modifying the agreement.

If you have questions or concerns about how the new law affects you or you’d like to try to modify your current agreement, getting legal guidance is your best step.