An Overview of How Florida’s 2023 Spousal Support Reform Changes Durational Alimony
Earlier this year, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a comprehensive spousal support reform package into law (Senate Bill 1416 (SB 1416)). The legislation brings dramatic changes to durational alimony in our state. While it can still be awarded in Florida, there are no more strict limitations on the length and amount of durational amount. Here, our Boca Raton divorce attorney explains the most important things you should know about how Florida’s 2023 law changes durational alimony.
What is Durational Alimony in Florida?
Alimony is a type of economic assistance that is designed to help a financially disadvantaged spouse during or after a divorce. There are four different types of spousal support (alimony) in Florida. As SB 1416 officially ended permanent alimony in Florida, durational alimony is now the longest lasting form of alimony in our state. Durational alimony has a pre-defined duration.
The Length of Durational Alimony Depends on the Length of the Marriage
Florida’s alimony reform law changes the rules for the length of durational alimony. How long durational alimony can be awarded depends on the length of the marriage itself. Here is an overview of what you need to know about the new limits for durational alimony:
- Very Short Term Marriage (Three Years or Less): No durational alimony.
- Short Term Marriage (Three to Ten Years): Durational alimony is strictly limited at 50 percent the length of the marriage.
- Moderate Term Marriage (Ten to Twenty Years) Durational alimony is strictly limited at 60 percent the length of the marriage.
- Long Term Marriage (More than Twenty): Durational alimony is strictly limited at 75 percent the length of the marriage.
To be clear, there is no guarantee that durational alimony will actually be awarded for this length of time in any specific divorce case. Indeed, durational alimony is only granted in a minority of divorces in Florida. Further, courts can award durational alimony that lasts for less time than the maximum statutory limit.
Florida Law Limits the Amount of Durational Alimony that Can Be Granted
How much durational alimony will be awarded? It depends on the specific circumstances of the case. That being said, Florida’s alimony reform law also puts new restrictions on the amount of durational alimony that a court can award. More specifically, durational alimony is limited to the lesser of the following two amounts:
- The reasonable needs of the recipient; or
- 35 percent of the difference in net income between the spouses.
As durational alimony is an ongoing post-divorce obligation, it could be subject to modification if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances.
Contact Our South Florida Spousal Support Attorney Today
At Williams & Varsegi, LLC, our Florida family lawyers put the best interests of our clients first. Do you have questions or concerns about durational alimony? We can help. Contact us right away for a completely confidential, no obligation initial consultation. With an office in Boca Raton, we provide family and divorce representation all across South Florida.