Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Alimony reform has long been on the minds of those in Florida, and now there is a bill that the governor may actually sign. According to a March 24 report, Senate Bill 412 may be the bill needed to get reform.

The bill itself states that a court may not use presumptive alimony guidelines to calculate alimony. That means that the duration of a marriage may no longer play a role in how much alimony a person gets. The bill also makes sure to clarify that the total amount of alimony awarded combined with child support may not equal more than a specified percentage of the payor's net income.

How can that benefit you? First, if you're the person making more money in your relationship, this bill could mean that there's no guarantee that your spouse will get alimony at all, and it certainly is less likely to be lifetime alimony. Additionally, you can rest easier knowing that the combination of child support and alimony won't overextend you, since it has to remain below a certain portion of your net income.

If you're someone looking to gain alimony, then know that you'll probably need to make a stronger case if this bill goes through. It doesn't limit what you can receive, but it does aim to make alimony less of a hardship on people in the long-term. For younger people in particular, it could mean the end of lifetime awards.

Your attorney can talk to you about what this bill could mean for your divorce. It affects each person differently, and although it's not yet law, it could be shortly.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Commentary: Finally, an alimony bill Scott would sign," Alan Frisher, March 24, 2017

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