2013 Florida Alimony Reform Guide

2013 FLORIDA ALIMONY REFORM GUIDE As many are beginning to realize, the Florida Legislature is closing in on passing a comprehensive alimony reform bill that, as written, stands to eliminate permanent alimony in Florida. Christopher R. Bruce, a West Palm Beach Alimony Lawyer and partner of Nugent Zborowski & Bruce, recently explained some of the pros and cons of the alimony reform legislation to Chuck Weber, a journalist and reporter with WPEC-TV CBS 12, in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Mr. Bruce’s interview, which aired on April 8, 2013, can be viewed by clicking here. On April 4, 2013, Senate Bill 718 passed in the Florida Senate by a vote of 29-11.  The bill, which can be viewed here, has the following highlights: The bill constitutes a “substantial change in circumstances” that applies retroactivally to many court orders and settlement agreements pertaining to alimony.  This provision will allow many alimony payors to modify alimony previously set by a judge or in a settlement agreement if the amount of the alimony or term of the alimony payments exceed the guidelines below; The length of alimony awards are limited to one-half the length of the marriage; There is a strong presumption against alimony in marriages lasting less than 11 years.  In such marriages, alimony is limited to 25% of the payor’s gross income; There is no presumption for or against alimony in marriages lasting between 11 and 20 years.  In such marriages, alimony is limited to 35% of the payor’s gross income; and There is a presumption in favor of alimony in marriages lasting longer than 20 years.  In such marriages, alimony...

Firm’s Article on Alimony Reform Published in the South Florida Daily Business Review

The South Florida Daily Business Review recently featured an article written Nugent Zborowski & Bruce partner Christopher R. Bruce.  The article highlights a special interest group’s failed attempt at eliminating permanent alimony from the Florida Statutes during the 2012 legislative session. The article can be viewed by clicking: Christopher Bruce’s Alimony Reform Article from the South Florida Daily Business Review. Click here or call 561.844.1200 for more information about the Palm Beach County Divorce and family law attorneys of Nugent Zborowski & Bruce.      ...

Florida Alimony Reform Legislation is Now Pending in Tallahassee

The Palm Beach Divorce Lawyers of Nugent Zborowski & Bruce strive to pay close attention to pending legislation that could impact Florida’s laws pertaining to alimony, child support and equitable distribution. Florida laws pertaining to alimony are found in Florida Statute Section 61.08.  Presently, a political action group by the name of Florida Alimony Reform is lobbying a bill that would substantially eradicate the concept of permanent alimony in Florida. The main aspects of the bill drawing the most press are the proposals to cap alimony at a percentage of the payor’s gross income and to limit the duration of alimony to the length of the marriage. Proponents of the bill say alimony reform is necessary to prevent divorcing parties from being “forever bound” to support their former spouses, especially in situations where their income has decreased or they have retired. Opponents of the proposed legislation cite to the fact that Florida law already provides built in protections that allow alimony to be decreased upon “substantial changes in circumstances.”  Furthermore, the Florida Supreme Court case of Pimm v. Pimm provides that most people paying alimony are allowed to voluntarily retire at age 65 and seek a reduction in what they are paying in alimony. It is not clear at this time whether or not the proposed alimony reform has enough support to become law.  You can bet that alimony recipients, those paying alimony and Florida Family Law Attorneys will be closely monitoring the progress of the...