Florida Alimony Reform Legislation 2015

Florida alimony Reform legislation was recently introduced in the Florida House of Representatives. A previous blog describing this legislation was posted on February 27, 2015. That blog discussed the Florida legislature’s creation of presumptive alimony guidelines. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the types of income that will be included and the types of income that will be excluded in calculating alimony under these presumptive alimony guidelines.

Income that will be included for purposes of calculating alimony under the presumptive alimony guidelines is all recurring income from any source. It includes, without limitation: (i) salaries, (ii) commissions, (iii) income earned as an independent contractor, (iv) bonuses, (v) dividends, (vi) severance pay, (vii) pension payments and retirement benefits, (viii) royalties, (ix) rental income (gross receipts minus expenses), (x) interest, (xi) trust income and distributions which are regularly received or readily available, (xii) annuity payments, (xiii) capital gains, (xiv) money drawn by a self-employed individual for personal use that is deducted as a business expense, (xv) social security benefits, (xvi) workers’ compensation benefits, (xvii) unemployment insurance benefits, (xviii) disability insurance benefits; (xix) funds received from any health, accident, disability, or casualty insurance to the extent that such payments replace wages or provide income in lieu of wages, (xx) continuing monetary gifts, (xxi) income from businesses, (xxii) expense reimbursements or in-kind payments or benefits received in the course of employment or operation of a business which reduce living expenses, and (xxiii) overtime pay. 

Income that will be excluded for purposes of calculating alimony under the presumptive alimony guidelines includes: (i) child support payments, (ii) benefits received from public assistance programs, (iii) social security benefits received by a parent on behalf of a minor child as a result of the death or disability of a parent or stepparent, (iv) earnings or gains from retirement accounts, except that such earnings or gains shall be included as income if a party takes a distribution from the account.

Alimony is deductible from the payor’s income and includable in the recipient’s income, unless otherwise stated in the judgment awarding alimony. A court may, in its discretion, order that alimony will not be deducted from the payor’s income and will not be included in the recipient’s income. The parties may agree in writing that alimony will not be deducted from the payor’s income and will not be included in the recipient’s income.

Under the proposed alimony reform statute, a combined award of alimony and child support shall not constitute more than fifty-five (55%) percent of the payor’s net income.

To speak with a Florida alimony attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273. 

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