When a client meets with their Broward divorce lawyer, nine times out of ten they will ask if they will have to pay alimony or if they will receive alimony. Effective July 1, 2010, there will be significant revisions to Florida law governing alimony. The amendments apply to all initial awards and modifications of these awards entered prior to July 1, 2010. However, the statutory amendments will not serve as a basis to modify alimony awards or change the amount or length of alimony awards entered before July 1, 2010.
The Florida marital and family court will now consider three additional statutory factors when awarding alimony. First, the court will consider each party’s responsibilities for children of the marriage. Next, the court will consider the tax consequence of the alimony award and whether all or a portion of the award should be nontaxable and nondeductible. Finally, your Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer will now have the ability of presenting evidence of all sources of income available to either party from investments and assets.
Another significant change to Florida’s alimony law are the statutory presumptions regarding length of marriages which will help the court determine which type of alimony is the most appropriate. A short term marriage is now considered a marriage that is less than 7 years. A moderate term marriage is a marriage greater than seven years but less than 17 years. Last but not least, a long term marriage is a marriage that is in excess of seven years.
In my next blog, I will discuss the statutory codification of bridge-the-gap alimony, changes to rehabilitative and permanent alimony and the newest form of spousal support., durational alimony.