The governor of Florida has to decide whether or not to pass a new alimony bill that will drastically change the lives of many Florida divorcees. The bill, if approved, would institute limits on both the possible amount and the length of time for which alimony can be received after a divorce, and these changes would be based on the length of the marriage.
For instance, for a long-term marriage, which is considered 20 or more years, payments cannot exceed 38 percent of the responsible party’s income. For a mid-term marriage, considered 11 to 20 years, payments cannot exceed 35 percent, and for short-term, or 11 years and under, payments cannot exceed 25 percent. The biggest change, however, is that alimony payments may not last longer than 50 percent of the marriage.
These changes can hit many people hard as many have accepted terms of payment based on a lifetime duration and waived their rights to other assets such as retirement accounts. Some people would be glad for the change, having been ordered to make hefty payments for the rest of their lives. Whether this bill is anti-woman is up for dispute, but the fact that many lives would be drastically altered with its passing is certain.
In light of this potential change to Florida law, it may now be more important than ever to seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney to set realistic expectations for the outcome. Attorneys can also help stabilize a downward spiral of emotion and be a voice of reason during legal proceedings in order to produce a fair outcome.
Source: wstp.com, “Love/hate reaction to alimony elimination bill,” Tammy Fields, April 23, 2013