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Major Changes to Florida’s Alimony Laws

David Scott, P.A. Dec. 11, 2023

The Florida alimony reform bill passed the Florida legislature and was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 30, 2023.  This bill will have a significant impact on how alimony will be awarded in Florida.  It applies to all initial petitions for dissolution of marriage that are filed or pending on July 1, 2023, and to certain supplemental petitions for modification of alimony.  The following is a brief synopsis of how alimony will be awarded in Florida under this new legislation.

First, permanent alimony has been eliminated. There are now four types of alimony in Florida, including:

  • Temporary – A judge can award temporary alimony when a couple has separated, but has not yet divorced, or if the divorce is not yet finalized through the court system. An award of temporary alimony is appealable during the pendency of a divorce case.

  • Bridge-the-gap – The length of the award cannot exceed 2 years, and it is not modifiable in amount or duration.

  • Rehabilitative – The length of the award cannot exceed 5 years, and it can be modified or terminated based on certain circumstances.

  • Durational – This will allow for economic assistance for a set period, but it cannot be awarded following a marriage of less than 3 years.  The law caps the length of time for which durational alimony may be awarded based on a percentage of the length of the marriage. For a short-term marriage (less than 10 years), durational alimony lasts no more than 50% of the length of the marriage; for a moderate term marriage (10-20 years), durational alimony lasts no more than 60% of the length of the marriage; and for a long term marriage (20 or more years), durational alimony lasts no more than 75% of the length of the marriage. The caps can be extended only under “exceptional circumstances” based on certain factors listed in the statute.

Second, Courts may order alimony to be paid in a lump sum or as periodic payments. Courts may also consider adultery of either spouse and its economic impact in determining the amount of alimony awarded.

The new law also provides that the amount of durational alimony to be awarded is the amount of recipient’s “reasonable need,” however, the law caps the amount of alimony at 35% of the difference between the parties’ net incomes, whichever amount is less. The statute doesn’t address how the court is to determine what’s “reasonable.”

  • For example, if the Husband’s net monthly income is $10,000, and the Wife’s net monthly income is $3,000, then the difference is $7,000.  Thus, alimony would be capped at 35% of $7,000, or $2,450. 

  • Net income is defined by reference to Fla. Stat. 61.30(2) and (3), which is the statute governing how income is calculated for purposes of child support. It provides a detailed list of what can and can’t be included as part of gross income. It includes income in all forms, including taxable and non-taxable.

Under the old law, income could be imputed to a spouse who’s unemployed, works part-time or who chooses to work at a low-earning job. Under the new statute, the court is required to attribute income to a voluntarily unemployed or underemployed spouse based on recent work history, occupational qualifications and prevailing earnings level in the community.

Finally, Courts must consider all of the following relevant factors when determining alimony:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage and the anticipated needs and necessities of life for each party after the entry of the final judgment

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The age, physical, mental, and emotional condition of each party, including whether either party is physically or mentally disabled and the resulting impact on either the obligee’s ability to provide for his or her own needs or the obligor’s ability to pay alimony and whether such conditions are expected to be temporary or permanent.

  • The resources and income of each party, including the income generated from both non-marital and marital assets.

  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties, including the ability of either party to obtain the necessary skills or education to become self-supporting or to contribute to his or her self-support prior to the termination of the support, maintenance, or alimony award.

  • The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.

  • The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children whom the parties they have in common, with special consideration given to the need to care for a child with a mental or physical disability.

  • Any other factor necessary for equity and justice between the parties, which shall be specifically identified in the written findings of fact.

Contact attorney David Scott for a free consultation and further explanation of Florida’s new alimony law by calling, or through Email by visiting