As this blog discussed in on January 30, 2013, in a post titled "Florida alimony laws: Change may be on the horizon," alimony is an important aspect of divorce that many individuals face. This part of the divorce process can be beneficial for some individuals, particularly if they have been financially dependent upon their spouses. However, Florida alimony, particularly permanent alimony, may be harder to receive in the future.
A bill that one group is pushing to get passed would put an end to permanent alimony. This type of alimony is paid by one of the divorced individuals indefinitely, sometimes for the remainder of their lives. This bill seeks to shorten that time period considerably, potentially to half the time that a couple was married.
This bill, if passed, could even cause some past cases to be reconsidered. This means that some individuals could lose their ability to pursue their normal lives. However, the original post did not include feedback from individuals who currently pay or receive alimony. This update incorporates their input.
One woman who spoke out said that she spent her marriage at home raising her children. After her divorce, she went back to school with the help of alimony payments paid by her former spouse. However, even when and if she graduates, she said she will never make as much money or accrue as much for retirement as her former husband. If this bill is passed, she may have to leave her home and fears she would have to receive food assistance to survive.
However, another individual reported that not having to make alimony payments would bring about a positive life change. He said that he was assigned to make permanent alimony payments to his ex-wife. This has left him without money and even forced him to declare bankruptcy, despite the fact that his former spouse has since obtained her real estate license.
It's not yet clear whether this bill will pass or what consequences Florida individuals will experience if it does. However, it is clear that alimony would become more difficult to receive than in the current model. Individuals who are negotiating alimony now often find benefits in seeking assistance. The benefits received by seeking advice to negotiate alimony would be equally or more beneficial for individuals seeking a divorce if this bill passes.
Source: wftv.com, "Florida lawmaker wants to make it tougher to get alimony," Feb. 14, 2013