If the Florida Legislature meeting finds its way in 2021, the way divorces are resolved could change as the bill would end permanent alimony.
When HB 1559 – which “revises various provisions relating to the dissolution of marriage and alimony” – becomes law, it will end permanent alimony and provide guidelines for judges to determine how much a spouse receives.
The bill is co-sponsored by Northwest Florida representative Alex Andrade. “The bill generally re-prioritizes alimony to ensure that both spouses, now ex-spouses, are working towards complete independence,” said Andrade. The bill will help families save money by reducing litigation time in court.
The bill includes guidelines for three different types of maintenance, two-year maintenance payments, five-year rehabilitation maintenance payments, and permanent maintenance payments that are half the duration of the marriage.
“Long periods of these types of judicial relationships are harmful to children, they create great divisions and discourse in families, and it’s really not the purpose of alimony and what it’s supposed to do,” Andrade said.
As expected, both House and Senate bills are facing opposition, and those who oppose it fear it will affect the current divorce settlement.
While Andrade said the bill would not be retroactive – divorces already settled would stay the same – the bill allows former couples to go to court to settle again.
Also included in the bill is 50-50 joint child custody time.
As of Tuesday, the bill was in the judiciary committee of the house
For the full invoice click here.