Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
In Florida, divorces involving alimony have gone through significant changes in the last couple of years. In 2010 the Florida law changed to include definitions of short-term marriages as anything less than seven years; moderate-term marriages are those that last 7 – 17 years and long-term marriages are those lasing over 17 years.
Permanent alimony used to be available in long-term marriages as an automatic with showing necessity of such, in moderate-term marriages if it can be shown to be within a reasonable necessity and in short-term marriages if there were, “exceptional circumstances.” The 2011 laws have now significantly impacted the ability to get permanent alimony in moderate-term marriages (7 -17 years). Florida Statute 61.08(8) , in order to get permanent alimony in a moderate-term marriage, the party requesting said alimony must present clear and convincing evidence as to why she/he should be awarded permanent alimony.
Now the threshold for getting permanent alimony for marriages less than 17 years will require more evidence then the typical issues of work history or contribution to the marriage. These allegations will now have to be proven by the requesting party and not merely addressed through testimony of the requesting party.
When going through a divorce, you should speak with a divorce lawyer/family law attorney to better understand the law and your rights and options under said law.