After several unsuccessful attempts, the Florida legislature has finally enacted the latest Alimony Reform Bill, which took effect on July 1, 2023. The new law introduces significant changes to the way alimony is awarded and modified in divorce cases.
Under the updated law, marriages are categorized into three types: short-term (1-10 years), moderate-term (10-20 years), and long-term (over 20 years). Alimony is now limited to a percentage of the length of these marriages. Specifically, short-term marriages allow up to 50% of the marriage length for alimony, moderate-term marriages allow up to 60%, and long-term marriages are limited to 75%.
The concept of Permanent Alimony no longer exists, and the law is not retroactive, meaning it applies to future divorce cases and modifications. However, a positive aspect of the reform is that it simplifies the process of modifying alimony by eliminating the previous requirement that substantial changes in circumstances must have been “unanticipated” to qualify for a modification.
Moreover, the new law includes specific language about modifications at the age of retirement. Alimony may be substantially modified or terminated when one or both parties reach 65 years of age.
Another notable change pertains to the termination of alimony in case of a “supportive relationship” for the recipients. The new law makes this termination harsher, as alimony MUST be reduced or terminated if the recipient is in a supportive relationship. Additionally, the definition of supportive relationships no longer requires a “co-habitation” requirement, which means the recipient doesn’t have to live with their significant other to be at risk of losing their alimony.
It’s important to note that the reforms also impact criteria for time-sharing with children. While this is just a brief overview of some of the changes, our family law litigators are well-versed in the latest developments in Florida Divorce law. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices. Our team is here to assist you and schedule a consultation at your convenience.