Floridians who are getting a divorce will need to know the basics about what they are facing. This is true for people in all financial situations, but it is especially important for those who are of limited income. One aspect of a divorce that frequently stokes disagreement is alimony.
In the Sunshine State, potential changes to the law are proposed regularly and alimony is no exception. Recently, there was an attempt to radically alter the alimony laws. In June of 2022, it was vetoed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Still, the law coming close to being passed suggests that people getting a divorce should know what changes would have been made and how the current laws might impact them. For any family law matter, it is critical to remember the value of professional advice.
Alimony laws and their consequences should be understood from the start
Had the new law gone into effect, permanent alimony would have been eliminated. In addition, the court would look at how long the couple was married and would have a rule for maximum payments. A problem for many was modifying alimony when the paying party (the obligor) was preparing to retire. This could have negatively impacted older people who needed the payments to make ends meet. The law would also have been retroactive.
Regarding marital duration, people whose marriages were shorter than three years would receive no alimony. Those who had marriages that were for at least 20 years could receive alimony for 75% of the duration of the marriage. If the marriage lasted 20 years, they would get alimony for 15 years.
There may be relief for many that the law did not pass. It remains vital to know what the law does say about alimony. Some of the factors that the court uses include the standard of living while the couple was married; the marital duration; the condition and age of the parties; their finances; their education, skills and ability to earn income; how each side contributed to the marriage by working or homemaking; taxes and other factors the court needs to think about to come to a fair decision.
With alimony and other aspects of family law, help can be crucial
Finances are a major concern in any divorce. People who may have children, large expenses from their past that still need to be paid and are of limited income have just as much right to high-quality legal advice as those who are of higher income and means.
People involved in cases in which alimony is a fundamental need should be fully up to date on the current laws, potential changes on the horizon and know how to maximize the amount they will receive. On the other side of the coin, those paying alimony will also have worries of their own.
Although the proposal to change the alimony laws was vetoed, there may be other attempts in the future. This has been a primary goal for many politicians and advocates of overhauling the laws in the past and it could happen again. Having professional, experienced representation can ease a person’s fears from the start.
A common source of confusion in any legal case is the difficulty in understanding complex legal terms. Legal advocates who will explain the situation in layperson’s terms can simplify the process and be beneficial to making a wise decision whether that is through negotiating a settlement or going to court.
Affordability and caring are two key attributes in making the right decision when seeking out legal assistance. This is true regardless of a person’s individual concerns and their situation. Whether it is a young person with children who is going through a divorce and is unsure about their future or an older person who is in the middle of a gray divorce and does not know how they will make ends meet without sufficient alimony, it is wise to contact qualified professionals for help with alimony and all other aspects of family law.