Understanding Florida’s Alimony Reform (2023)
Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1416 (SB 1416) into law. The family law reform package altered the way alimony (spousal support) works in our state. At Greater Orlando Family Law, we want to make sure that clients have access to the knowledge and resources that they need to protect their best interests. Within this article, our Orlando alimony attorney provides an in-depth guide to Florida’s 2023 spousal support reform law.
Permanent Alimony is Over in Florida
Florida’s 2023 family law reforms have brought some big changes to our state’s alimony laws. Here is the headline: Permanent alimony is no longer available in Florida. As of July of 2023, family law courts in Florida no longer have the authority to award permanent alimony. It is a major shift in state policy. Instead, courts can now only award one of the following four types of support:
- Temporary Alimony;
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony;
- Rehabilitative Alimony;
- Durational Alimony.
New Guidelines for Durational Alimony
Durational alimony is the long-term alimony in Florida. The state’s family law reform sets new guidelines for the length of durational alimony. Here is an overview:
- Short-Term Marriage (Under 10 Years): Durational alimony capped at 50 percent length of marriage.
- Moderate-Term Marriage (10 to 20 Years): Durational alimony capped at 60 percent length of marriage.
- Long-Term Marriage (Over 20 Years): Durational alimony capped at 75 percent length of marriage.
Adultery is a Statutory Factors In Alimony Cases (Either Party)
Courts will consider a broader range of factors when determining alimony, including each party’s needs and ability to be self-sustaining post-litigation, mental health conditions, potential to gain employment skills or education, and, importantly, the economic consequences of adultery. If either spouse committed adultery, that can be a factor in determining alimony.
Retirement of Spouse Paying Alimony Could Justify Modification
Alimony is an ongoing family law obligation. As such, it is subject to modification if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances. Under the new reforms in Florida, the retirement of the payor (obligor) can be—but is not automatically—a change in circumstances that could justify the reduction or potentially even termination of alimony payments.
The Alimony Reform Law Does Not Apply Retroactively
Changes under the new law will apply to divorces finalized on or after July 1st, 2023. Existing alimony agreements are not automatically subject to changes. In other words, a person who is receiving permanent alimony from a pre-2023 divorce will not automatically lose that alimony. That being said, a modification of terms is possible. An Orlando divorce lawyer can help you navigate complex issues.
Speak to Our Orlando Spousal Support Lawyers Today
At Greater Orlando Family Law, Orlando alimony attorneys are committed to protecting the financial interests of our clients. If you have any questions about the new spousal support laws, we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online for your completely confidential case evaluation. From our Winter Park office, we handle alimony cases throughout the Greater Orlando metropolitan area.