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The latest on the fight to end permanent alimony in Florida

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Family Law

Florida state lawmakers have been attempting to end permanent alimony for years now. So far, two governors, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, have vetoed the legislation that’s been passed because of various issues with the way it was written.

Once again, the Florida legislature has passed a bill to end the option of permanent alimony in cases where spousal support is sought. Once again, it’s awaiting Gov. DeSantis’s signature. Those behind the legislation hope this time will be different.

What about existing agreements that provide permanent alimony?

One change they made was not to make the law retroactive to all previous agreements, which was the issue that kept DeSantis from signing it last time. It would apply to new spousal support agreements, but it would be possible for a spouse to seek to end permanent alimony by modifying their current agreement if a judge agrees that a modification is warranted. 

Perhaps, for example, the payor has reached retirement age. Another example would be if the payee has been living with another partner.

How would spousal support be determined?

Under the legislation, alimony would be calculated based on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage and the difference between the two spouses’ income. Durational alimony would be a new option if a couple was married for at least three years. 

Organizations representing attorneys have given their support for the law. A group calling themselves First Wives Advocacy says they need their permanent alimony and have spoken out against it.

Whether the bill is signed into law or not, it’s always crucial to understand what your options are under Florida law when you’re negotiating the terms of your divorce and seeking what’s best for you. That’s just one reason that having experienced legal guidance is key to getting the best possible outcome.