In light of a proposed bill concerning alimony, which will not be addressed again until 2016, Family Law attorney Mary Zogg (yourfamilylawadvocate.com) educates the community on potential new guidelines.
Hollywood, FL (PRWEB) June 03, 2015
After five years of wrestling with the issue, Florida lawmakers have proposed a bill, which has gained the support of the Florida Bar, offering judges guidelines for how much alimony to award. However, due to a budget impasse, the Florida Legislature's annual session expired on May 1, leaving the alimony reform in limbo and finished for 2015.
The guidelines are based on the length of a marriage and the difference in income between the two parties involved. If passed next year, the bill, which could eliminate permanent alimony, will also allow judges to make exceptions in cases, wherein a lengthy marriage was dissolved and one party has been unemployed for years, making it difficult to resurrect their career.
"This new law would have given attorneys something more objective to work with, something better to calculate the support by," said Mary Zogg, an attorney with Family Law Advocate. "Under the current law, calculating alimony is entirely subjective and allows for multiple factors, including being accustomed to a certain type of lifestyle. You could go before one judge in one county and receive one result and then before a different judge in another county, and receive a completely different result. This new law will allow for less variation between the courts, giving legal professionals something more objective to work with."
There are currently no set guidelines for the amount of alimony that can be paid, but if Florida Alimony Bill HB 943 passes, permanent alimony in Florida may become a thing of the past. Once there has been a finding of entitlement, the amount will depend on the payor's ability to pay and the payee's need for support. If the bill passes in 2016, the combination of alimony and child support will not be greater than 55% of the payer's income, and alimony payments could only continue for a period of time from 25% to 75% of the length of the marriage. It will also allow alimony payers to renegotiate payments if the payee has an increase in income, the payer becomes unemployed or the payer retires.
"The days have gone by where there was this lifelong obligation to support or be supported, because of a marriage," said Mary. "Potentially, you could have someone who was married from thirty years old to fifty years old, get a divorce, and then expect to receive alimony for the rest of their lives. With people living longer now, and under the current law, someone could be expected to pay alimony for potentially fifty years."
For more information on alimony, or family law, please visit yourfamilylawadvocate.com or call (954) 703-0005.
About Family Law Advocate
Mary Zogg of Family Law Advocate handles cases concerning paternity, custody, divorce, child support, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and more. She has been practicing for over a decade, and continually stays up to date on any and all new reforms.
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805.650.6121, ext. 361
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