Florida Legislature Passes Changes to International Child Support and Alimony
Zephyrhills, Fla. – The changes to the alimony laws via Senate Bill 1978 were nixed during Florida Senate sessions earlier this summer. However, a separate bill was passed, HB1111, and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott in late May. The bill is important as it further promotes Florida’s Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) to enforce support orders from foreign countries that recognize the Maintenance Convention.
“Many individuals get very concerned when an ex moves to a foreign country and yet still owes monthly child support to help with all the needs of their child,” said Zephyrhills family law attorney Marcie Baker. “This bill helps reinforce the standards allowing a divorced parent to get child support from an ex whether they are out of state or out of the country.”
The bill also created some additional changes to alimony that the Florida Legislature pushed to get approved. Last year the legislature created “Durational Alimony” for short term and mid term marriages. Starting July 1 of this year, when deciding on permanent alimony courts must now:
Determine the no other type of alimony is “fair and reasonable” before permanent alimony is given
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, alimony cannot leave one party with significantly less income
Durational alimony should be awarded even after a long-term marriage ends unless there is “clear-and-convincing” evidence of a need for permanent alimony
“The goal of the changes is to ensure that steep alimony awards are not given when the other spouse simply cannot afford to pay the hefty amount. These changes show the shift away from permanent alimony in long term marriages.”