There may soon be sweeping changes in Florida’s alimony laws. State House Rules Chairman Ritch Workman recently proposed a new law that borrows elements of existing child support formulas to calculate alimony following a divorce. If passed, the bill would represent a radical departure from the current system and a complete overhaul of the state’s divorce laws.
According to the proposed bill, judges would have the right to consider a variety of factors to determine whether or not a spouse is entitled to alimony payments. These factors would include the incomes of the spouses and the length of the marriage. It bears a resemblance to child support laws that allow calculations to be done on a case-by-case basis and give judges a great deal of discretion. This latitude is important in situations when the proposed guidelines might promote unfairness for divorcing couples.
One of the more radical effects of the bill is that it would likely put an end to permanent alimony. Currently, a spouse may be granted spousal support on an ongoing, permanent basis. The new law would put a stop to this when both spouses have the ability to work. For many, this would serve as a statement about gender equality and independence.
The proposed bill has thus far received widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans, who both have long criticized the current system. According to Workman, he spent more than a year working on the bill and consulting members of both political parties to address their concerns.
Alimony is a complicated and contentious issue in many Florida divorce cases. If you are currently going through this process and need assistance in handling this or any other element of the process, work with the skilled family law attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.