In March, the Florida Senate Committee heard proposed changes to the state’s alimony laws. If passed by the legislature, House Bill 1559 and Senate Bill 1922 would establish a new formula and end date for permanent alimony, among other updates.
Review the pending spousal support law changes in Florida to understand how they could affect your financial situation in a divorce.
Proposed alimony changes
The new law would limit alimony in Florida to half the length of the marriage. Currently, some state residents pay permanent spousal support for years longer than they remained married to the recipient.
Currently, alimony ends when the person receiving spousal support remarries. The new bill also ends alimony payments if the recipient shares a household and bills with a new partner, even if they have not legally wed in Florida.
The bills establish updated formulas for durational, rehabilitative and bridge-the-gap alimony. Legislators have also made it easier for either the person paying spousal support or the recipient to request a modification to the arrangement.
The role of custody
Lawmakers have also included a time-sharing provision in the reform bills. Under this proposal, Florida family court judges would presume that mothers and fathers should share custody except in extenuating circumstances. Proponents of this approach believe it creates a more gender-neutral landscape for spousal support.
Former Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed similar spousal support reform bills in both 2013 and 2016. Before negotiating a spousal support agreement, review the state’s updated requirements for alimony arrangements. If the bills pass as written, the new laws would take effect on July 1, 2021.