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New alimony guidelines clear Senate, headed to House

| Mar 9, 2016 | Divorce

When couples are married for a significant length of time, it can mean that alimony comes into play. In some cases, alimony can be very difficult to change once it has been ordered, and there are situations where one person could be paying the ex alimony permanently. Senate Bill 668 is trying to make changes to the way alimony is dealt with in Florida, but not all are happy about the possible changes.

The bill officially passed the senate by a 24-14 vote and is not headed to the House with strong support from the Speaker and Senators Stargel and Lee. Once the bill becomes law, it would completely eliminate lifetime alimony payments and make it easier to have alimony adjusted due to a change in circumstances.

It’s unclear what the exact changes would be to the formula used to calculate the initial alimony payments or what the guidelines would be for putting the alimony payments to a strict time period. However, the bill does allow for a change in the alimony agreement if either party experiences an income increase of at least 10 percent from the original calculation.

Proponents of the bill say that these changes would make alimony more equitable for those paying and eliminate situations where the person paying alimony is essentially responsible for the other party’s financial support regardless of how much money the person receiving is bring in in other income.

While the bill must clear the House and not be vetoed to officially go into law, it seems to be well on its way. Those who are currently under an alimony order or who are in the process of divorce may want to talk to a family law attorney about how the changes will affect them.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Florida Senate passes changes to alimony law,” Michael Auslen, March 04, 2016

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