A Guide to Florida’s Alimony Reform (2023)
Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1416 (SB 1416) into law. SB 1416 is a significant reform to the state’s spousal support laws. Among other things, the legislation effectively ends permanent alimony in Florida. The new law officially took effect in the state on July 1st, 2023. Within this article, our Boca Raton spousal support attorney highlights the key things you should know about the end of permanent alimony in Florida.
Florida’s Reform Package has Ended Permanent Alimony
Florida’s alimony reform legislation is comprehensive. There are a number of different notable changes. For most people, the key takeaway package is the termination of permanent alimony. This significant change has been in the works for close to ten years. Indeed, multiple prior bills to end permanent alimony in our state have come up just short in previous years. SB 1416 is now law. Courts can not award permanent (indefinite) alimony going forward. There are now four types of alimony that can be approved by a court in Florida:
- Temporary Alimony: A type of alimony that can be awarded for the duration of the divorce process, until the final settlement is reached.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: A transitional form of alimony that is strictly capped at a two-year maximum period. It is meant to help the financially vulnerable party transition.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: This type is meant to aid in education or job training. Under Florida state law, it is capped at five years.
- Durational Alimony: Durational alimony is a predetermined type of alimony that can be awarded on a more long-term basis. How long it can last depends on the length of the marriage.
An Overview of the Three Categories of Alimony Duration in Florida
As noted previously, durational alimony is determined based on the length of the marriage. For the purposes of alimony law, marriages in Florida are divided into three broad categories based on how long it lasted. Here is an overview of the three categories under the reform bill:
- Short Term Marriage: A marriage with a duration of less than 10 years is classified as short-term. With the recently introduced reforms, durational alimony cannot exceed 50 percent of the marriage’s length.
- Moderate-Term Marriage: Marriages lasting between 10 to 20 years are categorized as moderate-term. As per the new guidelines, durational alimony for moderate-term marriages is restricted to a maximum of 60 percent of the marriage’s duration.
- Long Term Marriage: Marriages that span over 20 years are classified as long-term. Durational alimony for long-term marriages is capped at 75 percent of the total duration of the marriage.
Get Help From a Top Boca Raton, FL Spousal Support Lawyer Today
At Williams & Varsegi, LLC, our Florida alimony attorneys are standing by, ready to help you find the best solution for your situation. If you have any specific questions about our state’s alimony reforms, our family law team is here to help. Contact us today for your completely confidential, no obligation initial consultation. We provide family law representation throughout South Florida.