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Is Florida Law Changing Regarding Alimony And Child Custody?

Florida law has not changed yet regarding alimony and child custody, but it could. A bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would make equal child sharing by divorced couples the preferred state policy.
The bill is one of three major bills that are seeking to overhaul Florida divorce laws, impacting alimony, child custody arrangements, and other issues. Lawmakers are hoping to modernize Florida divorce laws, including establishing a new formula and guidelines for judges in awarding alimony and child support.

The child-sharing bill makes equal custody the default arrangement, while giving the judge the authority to alter that arrangement based on 22 criteria. If the judge deviated from the equal child sharing presumption, the reasons would have to be explained in writing.

An alimony reform bill will also be heard by the Judiciary Committee soon. It would change the alimony formula, and would treat marriages that lasted more than 20 years differently than shorter marriages. Alimony would be prohibited in marriages of less than two years. In addition, permanent alimony, durational alimony, and rehabilitative alimony would be eliminated and would be replaced with a new alimony formula. A provision in the bill would allow the spouse who is paying the alimony to be able to seek to reduce it if the receiving spouse’s income went up by 10 percent or more.

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