Many people aren’t aware that the Florida Alimony Reform Act effects child custody as well. A Provision of the Alimony Reform Act gives a presumption of an equal time-sharing schedule (often known as 50/50 custody) to children. Keep in mind that this is a rebuttable presumption and to rebut this presumption you need to have an experienced family law attorney by your side arguing on behalf of you and your child. However, when you go into court, the judge is going to already start off with the presumption that a rotating custody plan is in the best interests for your child(ren), and the judge has to be proven otherwise.
For those who haven’t read my last blog, at this time (April 8, 2013) several days ago the Florida Alimony Reform Act passed the house by a wide margin. This act eliminates permanent alimony altogether. Durational alimony cannot exceed 50% of the amount of time the parties were married. Bridge-the-Gap alimony (also known as transitional alimony) is limited to two years and may be terminated if the recipient party remarries. There will now be alimony calculations with actual percentages similar to the same method that’s used to calculate child support.
Also new is the standard of living used to calculate alimony ownership of non-marital assets are no longer considered for alimony purposes, and once the payor reaches the age of receiving social security, his/her alimony automatically terminates.
Interestingly enough, based on the statutory changes (once in effect), those party’s paying alimony may go back to court to modify his/her existing obligation. This is something that’s very rarely done in the law, but can be taken advantage of by individuals currently paying permanent alimony.
For what the Senate has defined as the “length of the marriage,” please visit my previous blog and be sure to stay tuned as I document other changes to this important legislation. Please be sure to contact an experienced Tampa divorce lawyer to advise you on the status and ramifications of this Bill.