Florida Alimony Bill dies in the Florida Senate

Unbelievably due to a dispute in Florida Legislature alimony reform died in 2015.  In the 2015 legislative session the Florida House passed the alimony reform bill by a large margin.  The bill was then sent to the Florida Senate for final approval.  Apparently, due to insistence by the head of the Senate requiring a presumption of 50%-50% child timesharing the bill died.  Since the Florida House adjourned three days early there was no ability for the Florida House and the Florida Senate to renegotiate the bill.    In fact, the Florida Bar’s Family Law section  was trying to work out a compromise when the legislative session ended early for this year.  For the first time the Florida alimony reform bill was endorsed by the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar.  Stay tuned, at some point in the next several years alimony reform is coming to the State of Florida.  Until that time, the current standard of one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay will continue to be the law as it relates to alimony in the State of Florida.  Also, marriages of more than 17 years will continue to mandate permanent periodic alimony when there is a disparity in the income of the Husband and Wife.  The proposed alimony reform bill made significant changes to this law.  Since there are no statutory alimony guidelines citizens of the State of Florida will continue to see inconsistent rulings from trial courts as it relates to the length of alimony awarded as well as the amount.  For better or worse, the alimony reform statute would have given judges statutory guidance as to how much alimony to award and for how long.