According to Representative Ritch Workman, Florida’s alimony laws are archaic. But change may be on the horizon. Workman sponsored House Bill 231, a controversial piece of legislation that would limit the scope and duration of alimony obligations. Under the proposed legislation, the concept of permanent alimony would be eradicated. Further, durational alimony would be limited to 50 percent of the length of the marriage, unless there were exceptional circumstances proved by clear and convincing evidence. Additionally, the bill would allow for reduced or eliminated alimony at retirement age. If you’re contemplating divorce, this bill may have a serious effect on your finances.
Under the current Florida law, the court may grant alimony to either spouse, regardless of gender. In awarding alimony, the court considers many factors, such as:
- Standard of living
- Length of the marriage
- Each party’s financial resources and earning capabilities
- Age of both parties
- Physical and emotional condition of both parties
- Services rendered in the home, including child rearing
- Education and career building
- Any other factor necessary to ensure equity and justice, including adultery
Not all alimony awards are the same. Under Florida law, there are several types of alimony:
- Rehabilitative alimony enables a party to receive specific support for a limited period of time in order to redevelop skills for financial independence
- Bridge-the-gap alimony enables a party to transition from married life to single life
- Durational alimony enables a party to receive support for a set period of time
- Permanent alimony allows a party to receive assistance until remarriage or the death of either party
If you’re going through a divorce, an experienced attorney can help ensure you don’t get swindled by your former spouse. Oftentimes, post-divorce animosity can lead to vindictive alimony requests. An attorney can make sure your divorce doesn’t result in financial ruin.