Changes In Florida Alimony Law: How This Can Impact Pinellas County Divorce
If you are getting a divorce in Pinellas County, alimony can help protect your financial security in the aftermath. Previously, alimony in Florida could be awarded on either a temporary or permanent basis. However, recent changes to state laws eliminate permanent alimony completely and change guidelines regarding other payments. Our Seminole alimony attorney explains more about these changes and how they could impact divorce cases in Pinellas County.
Important Changes In How Alimony Is Awarded In Pinellas County
When filing for a divorce through the Pinellas County Family Court, there are important financial issues that must be addressed before a final order can be issued in your case. These deal with the equitable division of marital property, assets, and debts. Alimony is an important issue to address as well.
Alimony payments can help you adjust financially to living on your own. However, after months of heated debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed Senate Bill 1416, which reforms how and when alimony is awarded. The new law went into effect on July 1, 2023, and one of the biggest changes pertains to permanent alimony payments.
Previously, in cases of long-term marriages, alimony could be awarded for a permanent and indefinite period, ending only in the event of remarriage on the part of the receiving spouse. The new law completely eliminates this type of alimony, claiming it places an undue burden on the paying spouse. However, there are still three other types of alimony available if you are getting a divorce in Pinellas County:
- Bridge the gap alimony, which can temporarily help in making the financial adjustment to living on your own;
- Rehabilitative alimony, which is designed to help you gain the skills, education, or experience needed to reenter the workforce;
- Durational alimony, awarded for a set period of time, such as while you are raising children from the marriage.
New Eligibility Requirements And Other Changes In Florida Alimony Law
Under the Florida Statutes, alimony may be awarded in cases where one spouse makes significantly less than the other or sacrificed their own career or education for the sake of the marriage. While this still holds true under the new alimony law, there are some other changes that could potentially impact your case:
- Rather than helping you maintain the same standard of living as you did during your marriage, alimony is now designed to provide for ‘reasonable’ living expenses.
- Rehabilitative alimony may now be awarded for only a maximum of five years after a divorce.
- Durational alimony may only be awarded in cases where a couple has been married for at least three years.
- The amount of time durational alimony is awarded depends on the length of the marriage.
Contact Our Pinellas County Divorce Attorney
To find out more about how recent changes in state law could impact your rights to alimony in Florida, request a consultation at the Reep Law Firm. Our experienced Seminole divorce attorney provides the trusted legal guidance and professional representation you need. Call or contact us online today.