CS/SB 1416: A New Law That Made Big Changes to Florida’s Alimony Law
In 2023, the Governor of Florida passed CS/SB 1416, a new law that overhauls the previous state’s alimony laws. Before CS/SB 1416 passed, three similar bills were vetoed/rejected. Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a similar bill in 2022, and former Governor Rick Scott twice rejected similar bills, with the issue almost spurring fracas outside Rick Scott’s office in 2016. It took almost a decade for a bill overhauling Florida’s alimony laws to be signed.
The new law, which took effect on July 1, 2023, brought several changes to the state’s alimony laws. If you are about to get a Florida divorce or if you filed for divorce anywhere from July 1, it is important that you understand the new alimony laws. Also, if your divorce petition was pending as of July 1, the new alimony laws apply to your case, so it is crucial that you understand them. Below is a look at the major changes CS/SB 1416 brought.
Changes to Florida’s Alimony Laws
The first major change to the state’s alimony laws that you need to be aware of is that Florida courts will no longer award permanent alimony during a divorce. Florida courts can only award temporary, rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, and durational alimony.
Second, the new law set up a process for obligors to seek alimony modifications when they want to retire. The new law allows the court to reduce or terminate support if the obligor can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that their retirement reduces their ability to pay alimony, and after considering several factors outlined in the new statute, including the obligor’s health and age, the nature and type of work, the normal retirement age in the obligor’s profession, and the motivation for retirement.
Third, CS/SB 1416 sets a five-year limit for rehabilitative alimony and allows for rehabilitative alimony to end if the rehabilitative plan is completed early. In other words, if an ex-spouse completes their rehabilitative plan before the length of the rehabilitative alimony award ends, they will not be entitled to continue receiving alimony payments.
Fourth, spouses married for less than 3 years are no longer eligible for durational alimony. Other changes affecting durational alimony include the following;
- Spouses married for twenty or more years can receive alimony payments for up to 75% of the marriage term.
- A short-term marriage qualifies an ex-spouse to receive alimony payments for up to 50% of the term of the marriage.
- A moderate-term marriage qualifies an ex-spouse to receive alimony payments for up to 60% of the term of the marriage.
- Durational alimony amount is an amount not exceeding 35 percent of the difference between the spouses’ net incomes or an amount determined to be a spouse’s reasonable need, whichever is greater.
A short-term marriage is now one that lasts less than ten years, a moderate-term marriage lasts between ten and twenty years, and a long-term marriage lasts twenty years or more.
Contact Us for More Information
For more information on the new alimony laws, contact our Orlando alimony lawyers at the Arwani Law Firm.