Florida’s alimony laws were written at a time when more women were stay-at-home-moms and marriages were “until death do us part.” Those days are long gone but alimony laws haven’t changed to meet the times. Unfortunately, permanent alimony in certain cases is still the law and can last until death.
In 2013 and 2016 bills designed to change the alimony laws were presented in the Florida Legislature. Although favored by a majority of the public and Florida legislators, it passed the Legislature only to be vetoed twice by Governor Scott.
This year again, the Florida Legislature will take up the issue of alimony reform with Senate Bill 412 which awaits its first committee meeting. The new version should have an easier time of passing because it doesn’t contain any retro-activity or child custody features, as the prior bills did. Although we don’t know what final changes will be made to the current law, its surely going to have an impact on the future of alimony claims. Issues such as the payer’s ability to pay, the length of the marriage and substantial changes in circumstances affecting modifications will have different meanings and the law will reflect the current demographic and socio-economic changes in our state. Stay tuned for future updates.