Florida Alimony Reform 2016

The Florida Alimony Reform Bill was passed by the Florida Legislature on March 8, 2016. It was vetoed by Governor Scott on April 15, 2016.  Under the Alimony Reform Bill, significant changes were made to the ability to make a modification of alimony. The court is permitted to terminate or modify the amount of a support award, however, a court may not modify the duration of the award. When the parties enter into a marital settlement agreement which requires the payment of alimony, or when a payor is required by a court order to make alimony payments, and the financial ability of either of the parties changes, either party can apply to the court for an order increasing or decreasing the amount of support. The court may then order a modification if the court finds that it is fair, in light of the change in circumstances or the parties’ financial ability. A court may not increase or decrease the duration of the payments provided for in the court order or in the agreement.

A party may file for an immediate modification if the actual income earned by the other party exceeds by at least 10% the amount imputed to that party at the time the present award was made. However, an increase in a payor’s income alone is not a basis for an alimony modification which increases alimony unless at the time the award was made the payor was unemployed or underemployed and the court did not impute income to that payor at his or her maximum potential income.

If an alimony payor becomes involuntarily unemployed or underemployed for a period of six months following the date of the last order requiring an alimony payment, the payor is entitled to file a petition to obtain an immediate modification of his or her alimony payments and such circumstance shall be considered a substantial change in circumstances warranting a modification of alimony. In the event that medical insurance becomes reasonably available it may constitute a change of circumstances warranting a modification of alimony. A court may modify alimony by decreasing or increasing the alimony retroactively to the date the supplemental petition for modification was filed.

To speak to an alimony modification attorney, contact Matthew Jay Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.