Divorce Lawyer

Governor Vetoes Alimony Bill

Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that was passed by Florida state lawmakers that would have overhauled alimony laws. This is the third time a governor has vetoed bills passed by lawmakers addressing how alimony is addressed in the state, with the former governor twice rejecting changes.

If the governor had signed this latest version, permanent alimony would have been eliminated, as well as set a maximum payment amount that would have been based on how long the couple was married.

One proposal in the bill – which stirred up much of the debate – was how requests for spousal support modification would be handled with the paying spouse was nearing retirement. Opponents of the bill claimed that this proposal would have left older spouses who depend on payments because they had basically spent the marriage as homemakers in dire financial positions.

Other opponents of the bill – many who spoke before public hearings while lawmakers were debating passage – testified that they had agreed to give up their rights to certain marital assets in exchange for permanent alimony.

Those who favored passage of the bill insisted that it would have made the spousal support process in the state more predictable and more equitable since alimony would not even be an issue for couples married less than three years, while those married two decades or more could have been awarded up to 75 percent of the marriage terms.

How Is Alimony Decided?

A Clearwater divorce lawyer knows that spousal support is not an automatic issue in divorce. There are a number of factors that the court will take into consideration and the weighing of these factors that ultimately leads the court to this decision and if so, the calculation of the amount of alimony and how long the payments should be made. These factors include:

  • The marital and non-marital property owned by each spouse and the amount that each spouse receives after the marital property has been divided
  • The earning capacity of each spouse, present and future, taking into consideration each party’s contribution to the home if one of the spouses is responsible for the domestic affairs of the household
  • The age and any physical or mental impairment or disability of each individual, which requires certain financial needs and affects the earning capacity of the individual
  • The duration of and quality of life of the marriage
  • Any other factor that the court should take into consideration so that the maintenance is just and equitable

Contact a Family Law Firm Today

If you are considering a divorce, you need aggressive legal representation and someone ensuring your rights to the marital estate and parenting rights are protected. Contact The McKinney Law Group to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Clearwater, FL divorce lawyer.