Divorce in Florida, especially alimony, could be changed with a flick of a pen by Governor Crist. Alimony is being changed through House Bill 907, which has already passed the House and Senate.
Florida’s alimony laws have been under scrutiny for some time because Florida does not have a calculation for amount of payments or length of payments. While a calculation is still not in sight, at least one large and important change is, length of alimony for those in a “grey area.” If any of you have ever contacted an attorney about your need for a divorce, then most likely the conversation of alimony has come up.
In Florida, alimony is determined by a number of factors, one of which is the length of a marriage. Short-term alimony can be assessed for marriages less than 10 years and permanent alimony is often awarded when the marriage is 15 years or more. So, what has happened is a “grey area” has come into existence for couples who have been married 10 – 15 years.
Florida House Bill 907 has language that provides for a change in the law so that courts can actually determine the number of years to award alimony for those falling within short-term marriage and the grey area marriage. This will assist both sides because it will relieve some of the stresses of either needing money or paying money. At least now, there will be a definitive timeframe for such payments.
If divorce is on the forefront in your life, meeting with an attorney is crucial when laws are changing. Make sure you know your rights and what to expect in the divorce process.