August 12, 2013

First off let me make this disclaimer: I’m no oracle and I can’t predict the future.  If I could, I would be a Powerball winner, sitting on a beach somewhere.  However, I can look at what has been done recently with regards to permanent alimony and which way the tide seems to be flowing.

It was down, but not out!

As many Floridians may be aware, the Florida House and Senate recently passed a bill which would have eliminated permanent alimony and done so retroactively.  However, at the last moment, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the bill.  If we look to Governor Scott’s explanation, he felt that by allowing the law to be applied retroactively, it would essentially “pull the rug” out from innocent Floridians who had been reliant on alimony for years.

A look to the future – permanent alimony going the way of the dinosaur?

That said, his justification was very narrow.  He did not seem to have concern about eliminating permanent alimony for new divorce cases.  This should give some indication of what we can expect in the future.  The legislature has clearly set their sights on permanent alimony and setting guidelines for the other types of alimony as a percentage of the payor’s gross income.  It is therefore likely that in this next legislative session, another bill will be proposed with these same changes – only leaving out the ability to apply the law retroactively.  If the bill is signed into law, Florida would become the fifth state in the nation to abolish permanent alimony.

As a Florida family law attorney, I would be happy to speak with you about your case and whether you may have a claim for alimony.  I will also work with you to protect any alimony award you may have received from claims for modification.  Please contact the Hoatson Law Firm to set up a consultation to discuss your alimony issues.

 

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