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Is Permanent Alimony Coming to an End in FL?

Alimony is a contentious issue in many divorce cases. If one spouse cannot support themselves directly following a divorce, alimony might be awarded to provide financial support in accordance with Florida law. However, the Florida House and Senate are each considering alimony reform bills that seek to eliminate one type of support known as permanent alimony.

Current Alimony in Florida

Currently, there are five different types of alimony available under Florida law, as follows:

Permanent alimony is rare, though it is awarded in certain cases by Florida family courts.

For example, imagine two people got married and had children young, and one of them forewent college and pursuing a career to care for the children. After the children were grown, there was no need for a second income, so that spouse continued to care for the home and volunteer. 35 years later, the spouses decide to file for divorce. One of them has a lucrative career that supports the household, while the other is 55-years-old without any relevant job experience, training, or education. Chances are that spouse will not be able to find employment to support their previously enjoyed standard of living, so permanent alimony might be awarded in this situation.

Alimony Reform Bills

Among other things, the current bills being considered in the Florida legislature seek to put an end to permanent periodic alimony. To further complicate matters, if the law passes, it will likely be retroactive. This means that if you are already receiving permanent alimony, your ex-spouse could reopen the case in court and seek a modification of the alimony order to reflect the new state of the law. This could put many permanent alimony recipients at risk of losing financial support they need and rely on.

Former Governor Rick Scott vetoed two similar bills in recent years, though if this bill makes it to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, advocates of the bill believe he will sign it into law.

Discuss Your Alimony with a Brandon Family Law Attorney

The legal team at Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A., will continue to watch how alimony reform proceeds through the Florida legislature. If you are facing an alimony case or have other family law concerns, please call us at 813-654-3444 or contact us online to speak with a Brandon alimony lawyer today.