Floridians who are preparing to divorce may need to learn about proposed legislation that could greatly impact alimony orders. The bill, which was unanimously approved by the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, would make several important changes.
After a Florida divorce, a judge may award alimony to either party if it determined that it is needed. The alimony may be provided on a permanent basis or for a duration of time as determined by the court. Financial assistance may be used to help one spouse get on his or her feet or help him or her make it through a financial gap. Those who are granted bridge-the-gap alimony may not receive payments for more than two years.
In general terms, alimony is a means for divorcing partners to maintain a quality of life similar to that which they experienced during the marriage. Also known as spousal support, alimony orders may come in different forms.
Florida law provides for the award of several different types of alimony as part of divorce proceedings. Some spouses may receive permanent alimony, while others may receive temporary alimony until the divorce is finalized.
Florida residents considering divorce may have questions about spousal support. There are guidelines established by the state that provide for a recipient's acclimation to being single once again. The court uses certain factors to decide how the amount of alimony is determined.
In a Florida divorce proceeding, alimony payments may be granted to either spouse. Payments could be temporary or permanent, and they may consist of period payments, a lump sum payment or a combination of both. In order to award alimony, the court will consider an ex-spouse's ability to supply it and whether the individual receiving alimony actually needs it.
Florida residents may be interested in the way cohabitation affects alimony. When a couple divorces, one spouse may pay alimony to the other for sustenance and to help them become self-sufficient. Spousal support may be limited or it may continue until the spouse receiving alimony remarries. However, cohabitation without remarriage may occur and in this case alimony does not necessarily stop.
Sponsors involved in Florida legislature are reportedly trying again to pass a bill that made its way through the legislature last year but was vetoed by the governor. The bill dealt with alimony reform and sought to end permanent alimony. The sticking point was that it allowed for previous alimony judgments to be revisited and perhaps modified.
Florida residents paying or receiving alimony as well as those contemplating divorce may be interested in recent actions by the state Legislature aimed at reviving a bill changing how alimony payments are awarded. The proposed changes would put a cap on some alimony payments and entirely eliminate others. Citing excessive hardship to those wage-earners obligated to support former spouses indefinitely even after relatively short marriages, reformers claim that Florida's current alimony laws are unfair and outdated.
While many Florida couples continue to live happily together, it's no secret that a sizable percentage of marriages end in divorce. Achieving an equitable separation can be a great challenge when each party holds a fundamental interest in the outcome. One woman details her experience with post-marital conflict involving alimony, one of the most contentious issues in any divorce.