If the 2021 session of the Florida Legislature has its way, changes could be coming to how divorces are settled, as proposed bill would end permanent alimony.
If HB 1559 – which “revises various provisions relating to dissolution of marriage & alimony” - becomes law, it will end permanent alimony and set guidelines for judges to determine how much a spouse gets.
The bill is co-sponsored by Northwest Florida Representative Alex Andrade. “The bill generally reprioritizes alimony to make sure that both spouses, now-former spouses, are working towards complete independence,” said Andrade, adding the bill will help families save money by cutting litigation time in court.
The bill sets up guidelines for three different types of alimony, two-year bridge the gap alimony, five-year rehabilitation alimony, and durational alimony, which is half the length of the marriage.
“Long periods of these type of court-ordered relationships harm children, they create a lot of divide and discourse in families, and it's really not the purpose of alimony and what it is meant to be doing,” Andrade said.
As expected, both the House and the Senate bills face opposition, with those who oppose it’s passing fearing it will impact current divorce settlements.
While Andrade said the bill would not be retroactive - already settled divorces would stay the same - the bill does allow former couples to go back to court to re-settle.
Also included in the bill is 50-50 shared child custody time.
As of Tuesday, the bill was in the House Judiciary Committee
For the complete bill, click here.