Alimony, or spousal support, is one of the most divisive areas to come to agreement when it comes to a divorce settlement. In Florida, the law states that the alimony amount is calculated by the ability to pay by the payor spouse and the need of the payee spouse. Rarely is this cut and dry. Most of the time during the settlement discussions is dedicated to agreeing on an amount and duration of payments.
In long term marriages over 17 years, permanent alimony has been a controversial subject for some time. On one side, you have a stay at home mother who dedicated her life to raising her children who sacrificed her career to do so. She no longer has the job skills to resume her career. Unfortunately, this has often been abused by the payee spouse. Instead of obtaining training and a career, they choose stay unemployed or underemployed and rely on permanent support.
The Florida legislature will be debating a statute during the upcoming session which not only eliminates permanent support, but provides guidelines and a formula for the amount and duration based on the length of the marriage. Theree will be a established upper and lower range as the new guidelines.
We will keep you posted over the next few months to see how this unfolds. It could change the landscape of family law if passed and becomes law on October 1st, 2015.