Alimony/time-sharing reform in the state of Florida (SB 668). Is the second time a charm?
by St. Petersburg/Florida Family Law Attorney on 04/06/16
As an attorney in St. Petersburg, FL, who practices primarily in the area of Family Law, this is one of the biggest topics currently being discussed in the family law arena. For the second time in 3 years, lawmakers in the state of Florida are looking to completely overhaul the original alimony statute, which means major changes are coming in the area of divorce law.
Specifically, the proposal will set out a formula for judges to use when deciding alimony payments. Moreover, it will lack a retro-activity provision (which allegedly was what lead Gov. Rick Scott to his veto in 2013). It has been argued by many, that this alimony provision will hurt stay at home parents, who may have a hard time finding jobs later in life. Under the proposal, the duration of alimony payments would be based on a few things: 1) The number of years of marriage; and 2) The couple's gross income (the higher earner's salary subtracted from the earnings of the spouse seeking alimony).
In the bill, there is also a time-sharing component that states that "judges would begin with the premise that a minor child should spend approximately equal amounts of time with each parent" before considering a myriad of other factors. However, the language seems very similar to the current law, that states there is no presumption in favor of either parent, but the judges must decide what is in the child's best interest. The time-sharing provision would only apply to cases filed after October 1st.
If you are looking to file for a divorce, it is very important you retain an attorney that is knowledgeable in the area of family law. This bill can mean major changes as to how divorces are handled and might determine your strategy if you indeed find yourself in this type of situation. Please feel free to contact our law firm for a low cost in-office or over the phone consultation, if you find yourself in need of a divorce attorney.