Category Archives: Alimony

What are the 2011 Changes to the Alimony Statute in Florida?

Effective July 1, 2011, the Legislature amended the alimony statute again to add a provision that durational alimony can be awarded following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.   The burden of proof for permanent alimony in a marriage of moderate duration is “clear and convincing” and “exceptional circumstances” for a marriage of short duration.

A short-term marriage has a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is greater than 7 years but less than 17 years and a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 17 years.  These time durations are rebuttable presumptions.

The changes to the statute and the effective date for implementation are italicized and bolded.

The Alimony statute now provides “Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate based  upon  clear and convincing evidence after  consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short duration if there are  written findings of  exceptional circumstances.    In awarding permanent alimony, the court shall include a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties.  An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14.

Effective July 1, 2011, the amendments to s. 61.08,Florida Statutes, made by this act apply to all initial awards of alimony entered after July 1, 2011, and to all modifications of alimony of such awards made after July 1, 2011. Such amendments may not serve as a basis to modify awards entered before July 1, 2011, or as a basis to change amounts or duration of awards existing before July 1, 2011. The amendments to s. 61.08,Florida Statutes, made by this act are applicable to all cases pending on or filed after July 1, 2011.

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