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What Is Florida’s New “Divorce Stabilization Bill?”


Although many are still attempting to wrap their heads around Florida’s recent changes to alimony, the Sunshine State isn’t finished making adjustments to its divorce laws. A new “Divorce Stabilization Bill” just cleared the House, and it could have numerous effects on the way couples end their marriages. As the name suggests, this Bill seeks to provide more uniformity and reduce confusion as couples approach divorce. How exactly does it work, and what do you need to know about this new Bill?

How Will This Bill Make Divorce Proceedings “More Uniform?” 

According to the Republican Senator who created this Bill, the goal is to make divorce proceedings more uniform across Florida. The Senator (who is also a family law attorney), states that many complexities surround divorces. She specifically highlights laws regarding property division as being especially confusing and inconsistent.

In the area of property division, the Bill would address three key areas:

  • Gifts of Real Property: Some divorces involve gifts of real property. In other words, one spouse might give the other the family home to simplify the property distribution process. This Bill would require these gifts to be made in writing. Perhaps most notably, these gifts must comply with Section 689.01 (Florida’s laws on fraud).
  • Valuing Closely Held Businesses: In Florida, a closely held business is a corporation with no “trading market” for its shares. These businesses usually have only a few shareholders. In the context of divorce, this represents a textbook example of a “complex asset.” This Bill would standardize the handling of closely held businesses in divorces across the State.
  • Interim Partial Distribution: Another important aspect of this Bill deals with “interim partial distribution.” This is essentially a form of asset division that occurs early in the divorce process, and its purpose is to provide financial stability for spouses under “extraordinary circumstances.” The new Bill would define these extraordinary circumstances and provide additional guidelines for spouses approaching the possibility of interim partial distribution.

Will This Bill Become Law? 

This Bill has not yet been signed into law. That being said, the chances of it becoming law are relatively high. The Bill is not especially controversial, unlike the Alimony Bill (which was only signed into law after numerous attempts over many years). In addition, it generated no negative votes and sailed through the House. Finally, the author of the Bill claims that the Florida Bar was “integral” in drafting it – suggesting that it has already obtained a seal of approval from one of the most important legal governing bodies in the State.

Find a Qualified Divorce Lawyer in Orlando 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Orlando family lawyer, look no further than Steve Marsee, P.A. We keep a close eye on the latest developments in Florida’s divorce laws – allowing you to take full advantage of new legal opportunities. To learn more about how the Divorce Stabilization Bill could affect your marriage, reach out and book a consultation today.




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