Pending legislation in Florida addresses the breakdown of alimony. Alimony is a contested issue in many dissolution proceedings, because the focus is on one spouse having to pay the other spouse either in a lump sum payment, or over the course of time. Currently, alimony in Florida is broken down based on the duration of the marriage, and the need of one spouse to pay while the other spouse has the ability to pay. However, this may be changing.
Changes to chapter 61.07 would provide the court with a formula to calculate alimony. This formula would be similar in nature to the calculation of child support guidelines, where it would use base numbers to decipher the exact amount of money per month, and for the amount of time. The court would still use the same determination whether a party has a need for alimony, and whether the opposing party has the ability to pay alimony. However, the difference would be in the actual amount of money to be paid. Currently, a judge takes into account the years married (0-7 years short term marriage, 7-16 years moderate term marriage, 17-death is considered a long-term marriage) and the finances of the parties. Under the new alimony provisions, a mathematical calculation would determine the range for the amount of years paid and the monetary payment per month. An example of this is:
- Low end: .015 x (the years of marriage) x the difference between the monthly gross income of the parties
- High end: .02 x (the years of marriage) x the difference between the monthly gross income of the parties
This formula would allow for a range of the payment per month that the court would order one party to pay the other party. The court would then calculate a range for the duration of time. An example of this is:
- Low end: .25 x years of marriage
- High end: .75 x years of marriage
The court would then have a range for the monthly payment, as well as a range for the number of years the payment must be made.
The legislature has attempted to make this new bill easier to apply for courts, while also allowing for less discretion by a judge to make a mathematical determination in awarding a party alimony.
At Taracks Rickman & Associates, we advocate for your rights and help our clients and their familiesthrough this stressful time. Contact our firm at (813) 281-2897 to schedule a free consultation.