Debate over Florida’s Alimony Reform Re-Ignited

Alimony reform has been a hot topic here in Florida for quite a while, and it was refreshed once again in late summer with Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) filing a Senate Bill on September 10. Containing similar language to the bill introduced last year, the one change in the newest bill is that it now contains information pertaining to child time sharing or child custody.

Why the Push for Change

The lives of couples today differ from those of the past. Forty or fifty years ago, men and women had to sacrifice their life in the workforce to tend to the home and raise their children. Fast-forward to today, and most couples are working and many are earning competitive incomes.

The bill argues that men and women who divorce no longer need to be continually financially supported, and should only receive financial support for a specific period of time.

A payor who has been married for less than 20 years will pay alimony of 0.015 X years of marriage X the difference between the monthly gross incomes of both parties

A payor who has been married for more than 20 years will pay 0.020 X the years of marriage X the difference between the monthly gross incomes of both parties

The most recent bill also mandates that neither alimony nor child support can be more than 55% of the payor’s net income.

The other notable change in the most recently Senate version of this bill is that child custody will start as being 50/50.

Can I Receive Alimony?

Alimony is largely based on one’s capacity to earn money. While child care may be accessible today, it was not 40 years ago – which is why, at that time, a husband or wife was forced to stay home, and not able to go to school or gain experience in the workforce. These couples are more likely to receive extended if not “forever” alimony when compared to a spouse who has received an education, has been active in the workforce, and has skills to share.

In many instances, a vocational evaluator will be hired by the court to assess your employability. His or her assessment may have a role on how much you will be paid in alimony, if any.

What If My Spouse Refuses to Pay?

At the Anton Legal Group, we work tirelessly to ensure that families are protected and that sufficient alimony is received each month. If you have been awarded alimony, or if you are fighting a current judgement, our team of professional and empathetic attorneys are here to help. We offer comprehensive consultations to everyone so that you can learn your legal rights and choose which direction you want to take your case.

We welcome your call today at (813) 443-5249.