Stately columns at the historic Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

Stately columns at the historic Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

Proposed Changes to Rules for Calculating Alimony and Determining Time-Sharing

The Florida Senate has approved an alimony overhaul that would establish formulas for alimony payments. The proposed change in the statutes is not without controversy however, because it includes a provision that would address the amount of time children should spend with each of their divorced parents.

The proposed change is a result of a compromise between the Florida Senate and the Florida House and the time-sharing issue has been a major sticking point. In essence, the proposal, as originally drafted, would have required a presumption that time-sharing between parents should be set at 50/50. An attempt had been made to settle the debate by changing the language removing the “presumption” of 50/50 time-sharing and simply requiring judges to “begin with the premise that a minor child should spend approximately equal time with each parent.” Nevertheless, there are those who don’t see much difference between “presumption” and “premise” so the debate continues. The Florida Bar’s Family Law Section had given its approval of the changes to the alimony statutes but is not on board when it comes to the time-sharing proposal.

As for the alimony proposal, a new formula for calculating alimony would consider the duration of alimony payments to be based on the length of the marriage; the amount of the alimony would be affected by the gross income of the divorcing couple.

Not everyone is happy with the proposed changes and the debate continues.

Note: The above information was taken in part from an article written by Dara Kam that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday, March 6, 2016.