Alimony Changes May be on the Horizon

It is an exciting time to be practicing in the area of family law.  Florida’s laws relating to family law have changed tremendously in the past few years including substantial changes to time-sharing (including an elimination of the presumption against a 50/50 split), child support (including creating a lower gross up to begin at twenty percent overnights), the elimination of “special equity” substituting it with an unequal distribution claim, and statutory changes to alimony codifying case law presumptions of what is a long term and short term marriage.

Change is, again, in the wind.  Alimony reform and other proposed legislation has made it through various committees in both the House and Senate in Florida’s legislature.  This new proposed law, if passed, will have dramatic effect on current alimony cases, and, more importantly, on prior alimony cases. The Senate Bill, as currently written, allows the proposed new law to apply retroactively to prior alimony awards.

The proposed law would also provides that equal time sharing with a minor child by both parents is “in the best interest of the child” unless the court makes specific findings otherwise, specifically considering seven factors.

If you are interested in the family law clinic over the next year you could be involved directly in the implementation of sweeping changes in the alimony and custody world.

More to come in Professor Sullivan’s blog later this week!