Saturday, March 10, 2007

Termination of Permanent Alimony Award

It used to be that outside one spouse's substantial change in circumstances regarding either the ability to pay alimony or the ability to be self-supporting, awards of permanent alimony were never terminated, unless one party died, or the receiving spouse re-married. A controversial statute was enacted in January of 2006 here in Florida which alters the rules regarding when alimony can be terminated. Prior to the enactment of Florida Statute Section 61.14 a receiving spouse would not lose their right to their permanent alimony award even if they were living with someone of the opposite sex and were being supported by that person. With this new statute, upon a finding that the receiving spouse has a supportive romantic relationship with a new person, their permanent alimony award will be terminated. There has been a lot of controversy involved with this statute, mostly tied to the fact that people who are receiving permanent alimony are usually people who are not skilled in a profession and do not have the ability to be self-supporting. Therefore, if their alimony is terminated, and they never marry their new boyfriend or girlfriend, and the new relationship terminates, they may not have the ability to support themselves. I still think that this new law is a good one and that it is important to advise your clients accordingly when alimony is awarded.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree there is never a reason in today's world to award permanent alimony. In my case premarital funds were what the judge used to justify temporary and bridge the gap alimony. We both had the same amount of disposable income. I just saved my money prior to the marriage she had not saved anything. So on a 2 year marriage no kids and she always worked ended up costing me 44K. The breakdown 19K to attorneys and the rest to her. My premarital savings was wiped out because I was a saver not a spender. This will not change until enough people write their representatives and demand the changes. If they do not vote the way you want them to then vote them out of office. For my part the answer is simple do not get married. The court system is the biggest threat to the institution of marriage!!!