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Alimony reform in Florida not looking promising this year

Last month, we wrote about proposed changes Florida lawmakers were considering to reform state alimony law. Among the proposed changes was the elimination of permanent alimony as a possibility in Florida.

Also proposed were the scrapping of presumptive alimony guidelines courts used to calculate alimony, presumptions for alimony based on the length of the marriage, limitations on combined child support and alimony awards based on the payor’s income, and changes to the rules for modifying alimony awards. Now, a month later, it is evident that the proposed changes of law will likely not be passed this year. 

That’s because the Florida Bar Association and alimony reform advocates have apparently come to an agreement that the changes are not a priority for this year’s legislative session. Given the consistent push to reform state law on alimony in recent years, it will not be surprising if we see a renewed effort again next year. Until then, divorcing couples and their attorney, along with the courts, will be working under the same rules that have been in place.

As we’ve noted before, alimony certainly can be an important aspect of divorce, particularly in cases where property division doesn’t stand to benefit the financially weaker spouse very much. In such cases, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to include alimony as one of the goals of representation. Alimony doesn’t stand alone, though, in terms of financial concerns in divorce.

In the bigger picture, ensuring equitable division of assets is one of the central goals an attorney will aim to achieve in divorce. Depending on a couple’s circumstances, this can be a difficult task or a relatively straightforward task. In any case, it is important for divorcing spouses to work with an experienced attorney who can provide zealous representation. 

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