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How Recent Changes To Florida Law Impact Alimony And Custody


Florida recently passed comprehensive reforms to the state’s family law statutes. These new rules not only impact alimony, but also child custody, father’s rights, and more. Savvy divorcees will want to prepare for the changes by making good decisions during and after their divorce. In this article, the Orlando family law attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law will discuss these changes and how you can better prepare for your divorce.

Understanding how retirement age affects alimony in Florida 

Recent changes to Florida’s alimony law make it easier for a paying spouse to petition the court to stop alimony payments. One factor that the court will consider is whether or not the spouse is retiring. For most Americans, the retirement age is somewhere between 65 and 67 years old. However, when an individual retires heavily depends on their profession. For example, doctors tend to retire earlier than the general population.

Under Florida’s new law, it is much easier to stop paying alimony or avoid paying alimony altogether if you’ve reached retirement age. Those who are close to retiring may choose to retire early during their divorce to avoid paying alimony. Regardless, a spouse’s duty to pay alimony is now inextricably linked to their retirement age.

Florida’s 50-mile rule and how it affects custody decisions 

Previous to recent legislation, Florida courts employed an unwritten rule that disadvantaged spouses who moved more than 50 miles from the family home. In other words, they would not award custody to a parent who moved more than 50 miles away. The policy has now been written into law.

There are numerous reasons for this. Courts tend to assume that creating the least amount of disruption to a child’s life is beneficial for their stability. This means keeping them in the same house and school district. A parent who lives more than 50 miles away creates problems when it comes to visitation and more. So, as a parent who wants to secure a positive result in your custody case, you may want to consider where and when you move.

Supportive relationships, cohabitation, and alimony payments

Recent changes to Florida’s alimony rules make it easier for a paying spouse to petition the court to stop making payments if their former spouse enters into a “supportive relationship” with another person. This could mean living together under the same roof or getting money from this person to help pay their bills. An alimony payer who successfully establishes that their former spouse is in a supportive relationship with another individual may be able to reduce or eliminate their alimony payments altogether.

Talk to an Orlando, FL Family Lawyer Today 

Greater Orlando Family Law advocates for the interests of those pursuing a divorce and those who have recently gone through a divorce. If you want to secure the best outcome for your divorce, you will need a passionate advocate on your side. Call our Orlando family lawyers today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.

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