Will I Lose Alimony in Florida?
Florida’s new alimony laws clearly favor the paying spouses, and many forms of alimony are now no longer necessary. While this has led to great optimism among paying spouses, it’s having the opposite effect on spouses who are currently receiving alimony. Many of these receiving spouses now feel a sense of fear and uncertainty in regard to their financial future. But do these new changes in Florida really mean that you will lose alimony? Can your ex now take legal action to stop your alimony payments from coming in?
Florida’s Changes to Alimony May Be Retroactive
The bill makes no mention of any dates, which implies that it applies to all alimony agreements. This includes alimony agreements that have yet to be created and alimony agreements that are already in place. In this sense, the changes can be retroactively applied. However, DeSantis stated in 2022 that:
“If CS/CS/SB 1796 were to become law and be given retroactive effect as the Legislature intends, it would unconstitutionally impair vested rights under certain preexisting marital settlement agreements.”
Ultimately, you will need to consult with your Tampa alimony lawyer to determine whether the bill retroactively applies to your pre-existing alimony agreement. Your ex spouse may have the opportunity to immediately modify a permanent alimony agreement and cease these payments.
Retirement-Age Paying Spouses Can Immediately Modify Alimony
Even if the bill does not retroactively allow your ex spouse to cease paying permanent alimony, they may immediately modify the agreement if they have already reached retirement age. This is because the new bill gives additional freedoms to retirement-age paying spouses. Upon reaching retirement age, spouses can modify – and in many cases eliminate – their alimony obligations. Note that retirement age may differ based on the occupation of each spouse, as different careers are associated with different “normal retirement ages.”
Other Forms of Alimony May Cease
Even if you’re not receiving permanent alimony, other forms of alimony may also cease. Rehabilitative alimony now has a maximum duration of 5 years, which means that if you have spent more than 5 years training and re-certifying, you might need to immediately plan for your financial future and prepare for these payments to stop. In addition, it’s worth mentioning that durational alimony now only lasts a maximum of 50% of the marriage length for short-term marriages. This number may reach up to 75% for marriages that lasted more than 20 years. In any case, if this duration has already been exceeded, spouses can move to cease the payments immediately.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Alimony Lawyer in Florida?
Orlando alimony lawyers can help you understand how recent changes in Florida’s alimony laws may affect you going forward. While it’s possible that your ex could take certain steps to cease alimony payments, you may have the ability to push back with various legal strategies of your own. Reach out to Steve Marsee, P.A. to discuss your options in greater detail. We have considerable experience with divorce law in Florida, and we have helped numerous spouses achieve positive results in regard to alimony decisions. Reach out today to get started.