How Changes In Florida Law May Impact Alimony Award Amounts In Tampa
After months of debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed legislation that makes sweeping changes in how alimony is awarded in divorce cases. In addition to limiting when alimony is awarded and length of these payments, our Tampa divorce lawyer explains how it could also impact the amount you are entitled to receive.
New Alimony Law Could Impact Your Rights To Alimony In Florida
Under the Florida Statutes, alimony payments may be awarded as part of a divorce settlement and are designed to help one of the spouses make the financial adjustment to living on their own. These payments are typically granted in cases where one spouse makes significantly less than their other or sacrificed their own career or education for the sake of supporting their partner and the marriage.
Recently, new alimony laws went into effect that could impact your rights regarding these payments. As of July 1, 2023, permanent alimony is no longer available. You may still be awarded temporary or durational alimony, which can help you adjust to your new financial status. However, there are some new limits:
- Durational alimony is only awarded in cases where a marriage lasted at least three years;
- Durational alimony payments vary based on how long you were married;
- Rehabilitative alimony, which can help you gain the skills or experience needed to reenter the workforce, may only be awarded for a period of five years;
- Modifications may be more easily made to an existing alimony order if there is a change of circumstances or if making these payments puts an undue burden on the paying spouse.
Reasonable Expenses Versus Maintaining Your Standard Of Living
Another major change brought about by recent alimony reforms in Florida concerns what alimony payments are designed to cover. Previously, if you filed for a divorce in the Hillsborough County Court, you could request alimony in an amount that allowed you to maintain the same standard of living as you did during your marriage. Under the new law, now alimony payments are calculated to cover only ‘reasonable expenses’.
What does this mean and how likely is it to impact your case? Basically, if you were used to living in a large home, having a housekeeper or other help, and a sizable budget for shopping and taking trips, alimony payments were calculated to cover these costs. Now, you may have to downsize in terms of living expenses, budget more carefully, and cut out some of the activities you previously enjoyed.
Our Tampa Divorce Lawyer Is Here To Help
Wondering how recent alimony reforms could impact your lifestyle post-divorce? At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., we are here to help. Our experienced Tampa divorce attorney is dedicated to protecting your financial security and can help you avoid any major adjustments by ensuring you get the maximum amount possible in other areas of your divorce settlement. To discuss the options in your particular case, call or contact our office online and request a confidential consultation today.