Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Alimony Statute Takes Effect Today

Effective today, all initial awards of alimony and modifications of such awards are subject to the new provisions of Florida Statute §61.08. The new form of the statute has not yet hit the Online Sunshine website, but no doubt will today. Changes from the previous form of that statute include:

  • The addition of specific references to "bridge-the-gap" and "durational" alimony, as well as a provision for combined awards of various types of alimony;
  • A requirement that the Court first make a specific factual determination as to the need for alimony and the ability to pay it;
  • An additional requirement spelled out that the Court consider earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability in granting alimony;
  • A requirement that the Court consider "The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children" the parties have in common in granting alimony;
  • A requirement that the Court consider the treatement and consequences of taxation of any alimony aware, including designations of alimony as nontaxable or nondeductible;
  • A specific reference to income available through investments of assets held by a party in considering all available sources of income;
  • An explicit statement of a rebuttable presumption that a marriage less than 7 years is short-term, a moderate-term (grey area) marriage is between 7 and 17 years, and a long term marriage is over 17 years;
  • A statutory definition of bridge-the-gap alimony and a limit of two years on such an award, as well as a provision making bridge-the-gap alimony non-modifiable in amount or duration;
  • Specific details on rehabilitative alimony award, which may be modified, but which requires a specific plan for rehabilitation;
  • The addition of the concept of "durational alimony" for a set time following a marriage of short or moderate duration, the length of which can only be modified except under exceptional circumstances;
  • A limitation on permanent alimony to the "needs and necessities of life" per Levine v. Levine, 964 So.2d 741 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) and related authority;
  • And similar modifications, largely in keeping with case law developments.

2 comments:

Dixie said...

My divorce requires me to pay alimony until my spouse dies, remarries, or I retire. What if he goes to jail for child molestation?

Dixie said...

My alimony is a house payment for a house in North Carolina in which no one lives, and I am disallowed access or rights except to claim the taxes on my income tax. My ex husband is living rent-free with another woman.

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