Boca Raton Alimony Attorney Discusses Florida Spousal Support
The focus of this post is Florida alimony reform and the recent attempts to achieve it. These efforts have sought to scrap lifetime alimony as a means of Florida spousal support.
Changes to Permanent Alimony in Florida under Proposed Family Law Reform
Lifetime alimony are dirty words to hear for those in the midst of the Palm Beach County divorce process. Thoughts often turn to a rapid downfall into the slums. This alone has led many to fight a tireless campaign for Florida alimony reform bills to be passed. It’s no wonder. Most parties assume that whoever brings in the bacon will end up screwed. Forced to work twice as hard for the sole purpose of paying Florida spousal support.
We’ve heard it all before, except with a few more curse words. ‘I’m here breaking my back while that good for nothing is sitting around sipping Dom… Deciding which interior to choose for a brand new 7 series. All on my dime.’ Florida alimony bill SB 718 has brought even more attention to the proposed family law reform. This would have put an end to lifetime alimony in the state had it not been for the veto of Governor Scott at the eleventh hour.
Is it Time for Family Law Reform?
With all of the recent controversy, it seems appropriate to discuss permanent alimony in Florida. Society has changed dramatically since the birth of alimony payments; originally fashioned to account for the stay at home wife or mother. The traditional nuclear family is now viewed as just another page in history. If we accept the reform family, why not adapt through family law reform? This serves as a primary argument for those who call for Florida alimony reform law. As a result of the efforts of vocal constituents, alimony reform bills have become a focus of the legislature. Consequently, despite the rejection of SB 718, the Scott alimony controversy is far from over.
How SB 718 would Have Gotten Rid of Lifetime Alimony
If SB 718 had become law, permanent alimony in Florida would have gotten the old heave-ho. The sunshine state would have joined the ranks of other states permanent alimony reform. Four have given lifetime alimony the boot. Scott said his reasoning behind rejecting this family law reform was due to it’s retroactive application. Furthermore, the proposed law also would set limits on the amount and duration of Florida spousal support.
The bill said that in a short-term marriage, defined as less than 11 years, there would be a presumption against Florida spousal support. If alimony were granted, it would not be more than 25 percent of a party’s gross income. In marriages longer than 20 years, there was a presumption for state alimony. It wasn’t permanent in nature and couldn’t be more than 38 percent of a party’s gross income.
Get Familiar with Florida Statute 61.08 before Joining the Florida Alimony Reform Discussion
In determining whether to award permanent alimony in Florida or any other form of spousal support, a court must first make specific findings of fact. The family court judge needs to determine whether either party has an actual need for lifetime alimony and whether the other spouse has the ability to pay.
If the court finds that a party has a need for Florida alimony and that the other party has the ability to pay, then the proper type and amount of Florida spousal support is decided. The family court judge will consider several factors when deciding whether to grant an award, including:
- Standard of living established
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and the physical and emotional condition of each party
- Financial resources of each party. This includes both nonmarital and marital assets and liabilities distributed to each party in divorce.
- Earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability of each party
- The contribution of each party to the marriage
- The responsibilities each party will have to their children due to their Florida parenting plan
- Tax treatment and consequences to both parties
- All sources of income available to either party
Types of Florida Spousal Support to Know before Getting Involved in the Family Law Reform Discussion
In a South Florida divorce case, a Palm Beach County family court may grant Florida spousal support to either party as part of the courts records. There are different types of court alimony in Florida:
- Bridge the gap
- Durational, or
- Lifetime alimony
A Palm Beach County family court may also award any combination of these forms of Florida spousal support and has the ability to order a temporary award. In any stated award of alimony in Florida, the family court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both.
Boca Raton Alimony Attorney Breaks Down the Duration of Marriage Guidelines
For purposes of awarding Florida spousal support under Florida alimony statute 61.08:
- A short-term marriage is less than 7 years
- Moderate-term marriage is greater than 7 years but less than 17 years
- A long-term marriage is 17 years or more.
Florida Alimony Reform and Permanent Alimony from The Perspective Of A South Florida Attorney
People tend to think that this type of alimony is used to divide future income. However, the award is improper when there is a lack of evidence of the payee’s permanent inability to become self-supporting. Consequently, a simple disparity in income won’t cut it. Palm Beach Family courts have made clear that the purpose is to provide for current, necessary needs. Therefore, not for an accumulation of capital. Despite this, lifetime alimony remains a hotbed of controversy for those seeking Florida alimony reform. And the battle is far from over.
Click Boca Raton Alimony Attorney today to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County. Assisting in all areas of Florida Family Law.
West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney Practice Areas Include:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage
Post Marital Agreements
Legal Separation Agreement
Alimony Laws In Florida
Permanent Alimony In Florida
Alimony Modification In Florida
Adultery Laws In Florida