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Alimony law changes head to the legislature in Florida again

Alimony, which is paid to a spouse following a divorce, has been in Florida's news over the last several years as the laws have been changing and amended. For those with high-asset divorces, any changes made to alimony rules can have a major impact. For instance, if alimony used to be allowed for a lifetime and then suddenly is limited to 10 years, one spouse could lose out on the income that he or she requires.

Florida's alimony law is going to the state legislature again in 2016. According to a news report from Dec. 13, the law currently impacts 80,000 people each year as people get divorced. In 2013, a reform bill was passed that altered alimony, but that wasn't enough. Now, supporters of new legislation claim that the new rules, formulas and guidelines would be more fair to families.

The new bills aim to eliminate permanent alimony. Instead, the new formulas would provide ranges of payments a judge could order based on the couple's income. The award would also be based on the length of the marriage. With the new rules, marriages that were less than two years old would be unlikely to involve alimony payments at all.

What's the overall goal of changing alimony in the state once again? A representative reported that the bill could reduce litigation, which in turn would reduce the strain on assets during a couple's divorce. With these changes, it's important to discuss alimony now and in the future with your attorney, so you can plan for bills that could affect you retroactively.

Source: Herald-Tribune, "Proposed changes to divorce laws gain strength — and opposition," Lloyd Bunkelberger, Dec. 13, 2015

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