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Bill that will Bring Changes to Alimony laws Goes to FL Governor

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Divorce on Friday, April 26, 2013.

There are many important divorce legal issues, including alimony which is also sometimes referred to as spousal support.

A bill that would seriously change existing Florida alimony laws has been sent to the governor. The bills is said to be overly critical of ex-spouses, especially women, who receive alimony following a divorce to help get them back on their feet. The proposed law would end permanent alimony, would provide a cap on alimony awards (the cap would be set based on the paying spouse's income and the length of the marriage) and would make the process for the paying spouse to conduct an agreement modification to lower alimony payments upon retirement easier. The law divides marriage into categories based on length of marriage. The law would also give equal custody of any children to both parents at the end of a marriage. The proposed changes to the alimony laws have been somewhat controversial and some argue it will allow spouses to retroactively change the terms of a divorce agreement.

Alimony, or spousal support, is a monthly payment one spouse makes to another according to a settlement agreement or court agreement. The purpose of alimony is to correct any economic imbalance that may result following the end of the marriage, such as often may be the case when one spouse has remained at home to care for children. Alimony is an important divorce legal issue and may be awarded based on several different factors.

Factors that may currently be considered in awarding alimony can include the length of the marriage, the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage, characteristics of the spouses, the length of time the recipient spouse would need to become self-sufficient and the ability of the paying spouse to support himself or herself and still contribute spousal support payments. All of these factors can be taking into account currently when reaching an alimony award.

Divorce-related legal issues can often lead to difficult emotions and sometimes to disputes. Understanding what to expect, as well as important changes to laws related to divorce in the event they are made, can sometimes help couples better handle the divorce process and its outcomes.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Alimony law in Florida changes drastically under new bill," Kathleen Haughney, et al., April 18, 2013.

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