Alimony reform in Florida is going to happen.

All signs point to the passing of Florida House Bill 943.  It appears that alimony reform will be taking place in Florida effective October 1, 2015.  All pending petitions for alimony and modification of alimony as of October 1, 2015 should be effected by Florida’s new alimony reform statute.  Under the proposed legislation, alimony will based upon a mathematical formula rather than the old framework of bridge the gap alimony, durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and permanent periodic alimony.  The new legislation awards alimony based upon a formula which deals with the years of marriage, multiplied by either 0.0125% or 0.020 % and then multiplied again the differences in the gross monthly incomes of the parties.  Then, once this amount is established the Court can award the length of alimony anywhere between 25% to 75% based upon the years of marriage.  The Court would be allowed to go outside of the alimony guidelines upon written findings that certain statutory factors have occurred.  Those factors are specified in the new legislation.  As a rule, it appears that the Florida Legislature’s intent is for the trial court to generally stay within the guidelines unless there are sufficient written reasons to go over or under the guidelines.  The proposed legislation does not seem to change the standard for temporary alimony.  As before, temporary alimony is based upon one spouse’s need and the other spouses ability to pay alimony.