The Florida Family Law Reform (FFLR) Political Action Committee (PAC) announced on March 22 that they're throwing their support behind House Bill 1325 and Senate Bill 1596. If passed, both laws would help do away with permanent alimony awards.
Although Fort Myers judges seldom order it, laws still exist on the books in Florida that allow them to award lifetime alimony. Generally, the paying spouse can only stop paying if either them or their ex dies or the recipient remarries.
The FFLR PAC argues that having to pay permanent alimony places a significant financial burden on the spouse making the payments. They argue that these types of spousal support awards are unfair because they don't require the recipient to have any accountability for their own actions.
In case you're wondering what the FFLR PAC is advocating for, they're looking for a formula-based model that would help spouses attain a similar financial footing. They're also advocating for spousal support that's awarded for a specific time frame. They argue that it should only be made available for as long as it takes for the recipient spouse to re-establish themselves professionally or train for a new career.
Proponents of both bills argue that it's time to modernize the way that alimony is awarded. As it currently stands, Florida allows a couple that has been married for 20 years, for example, to receive alimony for 40 or more years. They argue that this just doesn't make sense.
Currently, a payer can't request for a judge to reduce or terminate their payments due to becoming ill, unemployed or if their responsibilities increase as happens with other alimony types. If the recipient spouse cohabitates with a significant other and doesn't marry them, then the paying one can't request a reduction or termination of support either.
The FFLR PAC argues that the passing of these bills would significantly reduce conflict between divorced spouses.
In addition to the permanent variety, several different types of alimony exist in Florida. If you need help deciding what type is appropriate in your situation, then an attorney can help you decide.