Florida’s Proposed Alimony Statute Modification and 50/50 Timeshare


The Florida legislature passed a new alimony statute, which dramatically modified alimony and tied to the statute, a presumption that 50/50 timeshare with the children is law. Governor Scott vetoed the action. Therefore, the new law does not go into effect ever.

There were numerous issues with the statute:

From a 50/50 timeshare case, the new law would have made 50/50 time sharing with the children a “presumption”. This means that the Court is directed to do the presumption unless it is proven to not be in the best interest of the children. This shifted the burden of proof on the person wanting to not have 50/50 time sharing. The focus was on the rights of the parents as to 50/50 time sharing and not on the best interest of the children.

As to alimony modifications, the proposed statute would have done away with permanent periodic alimony and would have imposed a mathematical formula for calculations as to alimony. It would have dramatically changed the judicial discretion of each judge in a particular case and would have imposed a formula that wouldn’t have allowed a judge to deviate unless there were very substantial reasons for deviation.

It is possible that the Florida alimony laws will be changed in the future, however, that will have to wait for the next session of the legislature. It is unfortunate that both provisions were tied together in that some sort of alimony modification could have been realistic without the 50/50 time sharing statute tied to it.

We will see what the legislature has in mind in the future and whether or not the governor is willing to go along with future proposed laws in this area.

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