Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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Florida's New Alimony Bill

Advice to Women as to the Alimony Bill which will likely take effect July 1, 2013

Advice to Women as to the Alimony Bill which will likely take effect July 1, 2013

To begin with let's review some of what the bill does:

The bill declares that a marriage that lasts 11 years or less is "a short-term marriage" and establishes a rebuttable presumption against ex-spouses being entitled to any alimony.

Meaning there is a VERY high barrier that a woman must overcome in order to obtain any type of alimony in a marriage less than 11 years.

Even if you are able to overcome this obstacle you will be limited to 25% of the payor's gross income.

For a marriage lasting 11 to 20 years, there is not presumption for or against alimony but the burden will be on the alimony-seeking spouse to prove their need by a "preponderance of the evidence".

The maximum alimony payment would be 35% of a paying spouse's gross income.

For long-term marriages of more than 20 years, there is a presumption FOR alimony which the payor must overcome to get out of paying. The maximum alimony payment would be 38%.

Our advice: Prenuptial Agreement, Prenuptial Agreement, Prenuptial Agreement.

If you are a spouse (probably a woman, but maybe a man) who fits the following description OR thinks that they may in the future:

- your partner is/may be the primary "bread winner"
- you have/may put your career on hold for your partner's career
- you (may) stay home to care for children or a home

Get a prenuptial agreement and contract out the new provisions. Prenuptial agreements can be drafted before or after (post-nuptial agreement - new name, same concept). Have an agreement that sets out exactly how you and your spouse think that spousal support should be fairly arranged. Many people feel that pre-nuptial agreements are a "doom and gloom" approach to relationships, but in reality they are one of the most humane, sensible and loving things you can do for a relationship.

Speaking as a therapist, having a clear idea of what life would look like when you separate makes the decision to remain in a relationship one based on a real sense of love and devotion to the relationship rather than cased in fear of the unknown. With a prenuptial agreement, you know you (or your spouse) are staying for the right reason - because you really want to be married not because you are afraid of how a divorce might turn out. Additionally, having frank conversations about tough topics and working through any disagreement strengthens relationships.

We take a holistic approach to family law and would love to discuss your options, hear your thoughts and give you advice about your family.
Call or email for a free consultation.

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Family Matters Law Group P.A.
6950 Cypress Rd.
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Plantation, FL 33317

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