Florida Alimony reform legislation was recently passed by the Florida Legislature on March 8, 2016. It was vetoed by Governor Scott on April 15, 2016. The Florida Alimony Reform bill created alimony guidelines. Under these alimony guidelines the court was required to calculate a presumptive alimony amount and a presumptive alimony duration.
The low end of the presumptive alimony amount is calculated by using the following formula: (1.5% x the years of marriage) x the difference between the monthly gross incomes of the parties. The high end of the presumptive alimony amount is calculated by using the following formula: (2% x the years of marriage) x the difference between the monthly gross incomes of the parties.
The low end of the presumptive alimony duration is calculated by using the following formula: (25% x the years of marriage). The high end of the presumptive alimony duration is calculated by using the following formula: (0.75 x the years of marriage).
For purposes of calculating the presumptive alimony amount, 20 years of marriage is used to calculate the low end and the high end for marriages of 20 years or more.
In determining the amount and the duration of an alimony award, the court is to consider all of the following factors:
1. The financial resources of the receiving spouse (including the actual and potential income from nonmarital and marital property) and the receiving spouse's ability to meet his or her reasonable needs.
2. The financial resources of the paying spouse (including actual or potential income from nonmarital and marital property) and the ability of the paying spouse to meet his or her reasonable needs while paying alimony.
3. The standard of living of established by the parties during the course of the marriage (with consideration that there will now be 2 households to maintain and that neither party may be able to maintain the same standard of living after the divorce).
4. The distribution of the parties' marital property, including whether an unequal distribution was made to reduce or eliminate a party's need for alimony.
5. The parties' income, employment, and employability (obtainable through reasonable diligence and additional training or education, if necessary), and any necessary reduction in employment due to the needs of a minor child of the marriage.
6. Whether a party could become better able to support himself or herself and reduce the need for ongoing alimony payments by pursuing additional vocational or educational training.
7. Whether one party has historically earned higher or lower income than the income reflected at the time of final hearing and the duration and consistency of income from overtime or additional employment.
8. Whether either party has postponed or foregone economic, educational, or employment opportunities during the course of the marriage.
9. Whether either party has caused the unreasonable dissipation or depletion of marital assets.
10. The number of months that temporary alimony was paid and the amount of temporary alimony.
11. The health, age, physical and mental condition of the parties.
12. Significant economic or noneconomic contributions to the marriage or to the economic, educational, or occupational advancement of a party.
13. The tax consequence of the alimony award.
14. Any other factor that the Court deems necessary to do equity and justice.
To speak to a Florida Alimony attorney about the 2016 Florida alimony reform statute, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.