Changes to Florida’s Alimony Law

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Alimony Law

On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed into law HB 1301  which recently revamped Florida’s alimony statute, Fla. Stat. 61.08 effective July 1, 2023. The most significant change is the elimination of permanent alimony in favor of a formula-based system that establishes the maximum length of time alimony can be paid as well as capping the amount that can be Ordered.

Typers of Alimony

Prior to July 01, 2023, Florida had four different types of alimony available as a remedy: 1.  Permanent  2.  Durational  3.  Rehabilitative and  4.  Bridge-the-gap.

Effective July 1, 2023, permanent alimony has disappeared, but the other three forms continue to exist (more than one type of alimony under appropriate circumstances).  In determining which form of alimony is appropriate under Section 61.08 Florida Statute, the court is required to consider the list of factors, including:

(a) The duration of the marriage.

(b) The standard of living established during the marriage and the anticipated needs and necessities of life for each party after the entry of the final judgment.

(c) The age, physical, mental, and emotional condition of each party, including whether either party is physically or mentally disabled and the resulting impact on either the obligee’s ability to provide for his or her own needs or the obligor’s ability to pay alimony and whether such conditions are expected to be temporary or permanent.

(d) The resources and income of each party, including the income generated from both nonmarital and marital assets.

(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties, including the ability of either party to obtain the necessary skills or education to become self-supporting or to contribute to his or her self-support prior to the termination of the support, maintenance, or alimony award.

(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.

(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children whom the parties have in common, with special consideration given to the need to care for a child with a mental or physical disability.

(h) Any other factor necessary for equity and justice between the parties, which shall be specifically identified in the written findings of fact. This may include a finding of a supportive relationship as provided for in s. 61.14(1)(b) or a reasonable retirement as provided for in s. 61.14(1)(c)1.

Under the new law, durational alimony may only be awarded in a marriage of three or more years. Bridge-the-gap alimony is available for short term marriages for a maximum of two years.

How Long Does Alimony Continue?

The length of time for which durational alimony may be awarded is based on a percentage of the length of the marriage.

Short-term marriage (less than 10 years), Durational alimony is capped at no more than 50% of the length of the marriage;

Moderate term marriage (10-20 years), Durational alimony capped at  no more than 60% of the length of the marriage;

Long term marriage (20 or more years), Durational alimony capped at no more than 75% of the length of the marriage. Only under “exceptional circumstances” based on certain factors listed in Section 61.08 Florida Statute.

Calculating The Amount of Alimony

Now the amount of durational alimony to be awarded is based on the amount of recipient’s “reasonable need.”, but no more than 35% of the difference between the parties’ net incomes. The statute doesn’t address how the court is to determine what’s “reasonable.”

Net income is defined in Florida Statute 61.30(2) and (3), which is the statute governing how income is calculated for purposes of child support.


Income shall be determined on a monthly basis for each parent as follows:

(a) Gross income shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Salary or wages.

2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.

3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.

4. Disability benefits.

5. All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.

6. Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.

7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.

8. Social security benefits.

9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.

10. Interest and dividends.

11. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.

12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.

13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.

14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.

Prior to July 01, 2023, income could be imputed to a spouse who’s unemployed, works part-time or who chooses to work at a low-earning job. Under the new statute, the court is required to attribute income to a voluntarily unemployed or underemployed spouse based on recent work history, occupational qualifications and prevailing earnings level in the community.