2015 Alimony Reform Bill

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Significant attempts have been made in recent years to overhaul Florida’s alimony law. While such attempts have nearly been successful, they have ultimately failed. Specifically, in May 2013, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the then-proposed alimony reform bill, which would have made drastic changes to the alimony law in Florida.

Once again, proposed legislation has been filed in both the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives for the 2015 legislative session. The most notable change to alimony law includes the imposition of presumptive guidelines for both the amount and duration of alimony, from which a court can deviate only if the court makes specific written findings that the application of the presumptive alimony amount and alimony duration ranges is inappropriate or inequitable after considering all of the factors newly set forth in the proposed-amended statute.

The legislation also proposes changes to the statute governing modification of support awards to essentially make it easier for payor spouses to modify (reduce or terminate) an award of alimony in certain circumstances.

Aside from alimony, the legislation also now attempts to create a presumption that “approximately equal time-sharing with a minor child by both parents is presumed to be in the best interest of the child.”

Having only just been filed, there are likely to be changes to the proposed bills. As such, it will be important to see where this legislation ultimately ends up, as it can profoundly change the landscape of alimony in Florida.

To review the legislation, see the following links:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1248

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=54106
 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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