A number of different state legislatures, including Florida, began to consider the use of formulas to calculate alimony or the abolishment of permanent alimony in 2013. Alimony is a type of monthly payment or lump sum that a husband or wife pays his or her former spouse to help him or her pay for living expenses. If new formulas were used, these calculations would determine how long and how much a person can receive in alimony.
Permanent alimony laws have traditionally helped women who have given up their careers in order to raise their children. The new laws could potentially change previous divorce settlements. Spouses who received alimony may no longer receive payments but won't receive compensation for other property their ex-spouses were awarded in a divorce settlement. Changed alimony laws would benefit individuals who were married for less than 10 years, who wouldn't have to pay their ex-spouse regular payments throughout their lives.
Recently, the governor of Florida vetoed a bill that would have ended alimony on a statewide level. If the bill would have gone through, Florida would have outlawed the use of permanent alimony in divorce proceedings.
New alimony laws can have a major impact over what one party has to pay or receives in a divorce. When states adopt alimony reform laws or statewide alimony formulas, judges have less decision-making power over the amount one party receives, which can mean a larger or smaller amount in alimony for one spouse. Experienced divorce attorneys can help divorcing husbands or wives to gather evidence that helps them to get the best alimony and overall divorce settlements possible.
Source: MainStreet.com, "Is This the End of Alimony?", Cheryl Lock, July 01, 2013