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Say Goodbye to Lifetime Alimony?

[caption id="attachment_421" align="alignleft" width="300"]Alimony Photo by Stuart Miles.[/caption]

Alimony reform has been a hot political topic in Florida.  A proposed bill to make radical changes in the state’s alimony law was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott in 2013 and now is likely to reappear during this year’s legislative session.  This new revised law contains many key changes from existing law such as:

Alimony formula – similar concept to the manner in which child support is calculated.  The formula would provide a start and end date for alimony payments.

Judge discretion – allows judges to make fair decisions in awarding alimony while striking a balance between those paying and receiving alimony.  Every family is different as are their financial needs.

More accountability for recipients living in a supportive relationship – the current law allows for changes in the amount of alimony paid if a recipient is proven to be in a relationship with someone who is financially supportive; payments are either reduced or terminated.  The new proposal would require the recipient to pay back the alimony received as a result of the financial supportive relationship along with attorney’s costs.

No increase in alimony amount if the former spouse receives a raise.

Reduction in alimony amount when payee reaches the age of 62.

Acknowledgment that a change in circumstances warranting a change in alimony exists at retirement.

The hopes behind this new reform is for spouses to know what is ahead in the divorce process, how much and how long financial support will last and provide more opportunity for mediation rather than lengthy court battles.

If you are experiencing a relationship crisis and considering filing for divorce or pursuing other family matters contact an experienced family law attorney who can advise you of all your options taking into consideration the emotional components as well as the legal issues. As a state certified family and circuit court civil mediator as well as a proven and experienced attorney since 1974, Ronald A. Luzim brings an integrative and holistic approach to help his clients take full advantage of the family laws to protect their rights and interests. Please contact his Coral Springs office at 954-755-1500 for your family law