Florida Alimony Reform: Permanent Alimony Eliminated

On July 1, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1416 into law. SB 1416 permanently abolished permanent alimony. SB 1416 has substantially changed our alimony laws in Florida. The Court may award a combination of three (3) forms of alimony. The forms of alimony that may be awarded are bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative and durational alimony.

In a similar manner to the prior alimony statute, the Court must analyze each party’s need for and ability to pay alimony. The Court evaluates several factors in order to determine the alimony award. SB 1416 revised those factors to include an analysis of not only standard of living, but also future expected expenses. The mental condition of each party is now a factor along with prior factors of age, physical and emotional condition. And, SB 1416 provides for the Court to give special attention to a party’s care for a child that is mentally and/or physically disabled.

Upon a determination that there is a need and ability, the Court may award a combination of the various forms of alimony, in addition to temporary alimony during the pendency of the litigation. The forms of alimony have been reformed pursuant to SB 1416.

  • Bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed two (2) years and is non modifiable in duration and amount. Bridge-the-gap alimony is for legitimate, identifiable short term needs.
  • Rehabilitative alimony may not exceed five (5) years and is modifiable in duration and amount. Rehabilitative alimony requires a plan.
  • Durational alimony cannot be awarded for a marriage of less than three (3) years. The length of durational alimony may not exceed 50% of the length of a short term marriage (3-10 years); 60% of the length of a moderate term marriage (10-20 years) and 75% of the length a long term marriage (20 plus years). The amount of durational alimony may not exceed 35% of the net difference between the payor spouse’s net income and recipient spouse’s net income.

The statute does not provide a cap on the amount of alimony, but rather guides the parties in that the payor may not be left with significantly less net income than the recipient. The Court may award alimony as a lump sum payment under certain circumstances.

The attorneys at Johnson Ritchey Family Law PLLC are highly skilled and competent to handle all alimony related issues in dissolution actions, including post-judgment modifications and enforcement actions that might be necessary.