Understanding the New Alimony Statute in Florida: A Comprehensive Overview

Attorney/Mediator Beth Reineke


In recent years, the landscape of family law in Florida has been subject to various changes aimed at improving the clarity, fairness, and effectiveness of legal processes. One significant change that has come into effect is the new alimony statute, which took effect on July 1, 2023. As an Family Law Attorney and a Supreme Court Mediator I am here to provide an informative and neutral overview of the new alimony statute and its implications for divorcing couples in the state of Florida.

The Evolution of Alimony Law in Florida

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a critical aspect of divorce proceedings that aims to provide financial assistance to a spouse who may have been financially dependent on the other spouse during the marriage. Florida has witnessed several changes in its alimony laws over the years, reflecting shifts in societal norms and legal perspectives.

The new alimony statute, currently found in Senate Bill 1416, represents the latest chapter in this evolution, bringing important modifications to how alimony is determined and awarded in divorce cases.

Key Features of the New Alimony Statute

  1. Types of Alimony: The new statute continues to categorizes alimony into several types, each addressing different needs and circumstances. These include bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, lump sum alimony, and durational alimony.  The new statute no longer permits a judge to award permanent alimony, and it prohibits rehabilitative alimony and durational alimony from exceeding certain time frames.
  2. Factors for Consideration: The Court will still consider whether a party can show that they need alimony and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony, so when determining the type, amount, and duration of alimony, Florida courts will consider a range of factors, including the standard of living established during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the age and physical and emotional condition of each party, the contribution of each party to the marriage, and the financial resources and earning capacities of both spouses.
  3. Length of Marriage.  The length of the marriage is still an important factor that the Court will consider.  The length of a “short-term” marriage has been increased from 7 years to 10 years.  The length of a “moderate-term” marriage has been increased to include marriages between 10 and 20 years, and the length of a “long-term” marriage has been increased from 17 years to 20 years.
  4. Guidelines for Calculating Durational Alimony.  One significant addition to the new statute is the addition of a formula for calculating a cap for Durational Alimony.  According to the new statute, an award of durational alimony will be the lesser of the party’s actual need or 35% of the difference in the two parties net incomes.  Net income is calculated as provided in Florida’s Child Support Guideline statute, 61.30, Florida Statutes.
  5. Length of Durational Alimony.  Another significant addition to the new alimony statute is the introduction of specific limits on the lengths of time that Durational Alimony may be awarded.  An award of Durational Alimony may not exceed 50% of the length of a short-term marriage; 60% of a moderate-term marriage; and 75% of a long-term marriage.  The Court may exceed these limits only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances.
  6. Modification and Termination: The new statute also provides clearer guidelines for the modification and termination of alimony awards. Changes in circumstances, such as the receiving spouse's remarriage or cohabitation in a supportive relationship are required to lead to the modification or termination of alimony payments.  
  7. Retirement and Alimony: The statute now specifically addresses the issue of alimony payments in relation to the paying spouse's retirement. It acknowledges that retirement can be a valid reason for modifying or terminating alimony, provided certain conditions are met. 
  8. Clearer Guidelines: The new statute attempts to introduce clearer guidelines for judges to follow when determining alimony awards. The intent is to foster consistency and predictability in alimony decisions across different cases.
  • “She mixed her life experience, and legal training, with patience, logic, and persuasion, to move our case forward to a more thoughtful, and peaceful resolution, for everyone involved.”

Alternatives to Litigation

As a seasoned family law attorney and Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, Beth Reineke understands the importance of offering divorcing couples alternatives to the traditional litigation process. While the new alimony statute provides a framework for alimony determination, couples have the opportunity to explore other equitable alternatives in mediation.
Mediation allows couples to collaborate and make decisions about alimony and other aspects of their divorce in a more amicable and cost-effective manner. By working with a neutral mediator, couples can discuss their unique circumstances, preferences, and financial capacities to arrive at mutually beneficial agreements.  


The new alimony statute in Florida, effective from July 1, 2023, represents a significant step in the evolution of family law in the state of Florida. As an Attorney/Mediator, Beth Reineke’s aim is to inform divorcing couples in the Tampa Bay Area, including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, and Pasco County, about the implications of this new statute. It is crucial for couples to be aware of their options when it comes to alimony and divorce proceedings. Whether through litigation, mediation, or other alternatives, the goal remains the same: achieving equitable and fair solutions that prioritize the well-being of all parties involved.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult with a qualified family law attorney for advice tailored to your specific situation.

The foregoing article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for the legal advice of a experienced family law attorney.  If you have questions about your rights and obligations under Florida’s new alimony statute, you should contact a family law attorney and schedule a comprehensive consultation to discuss your particular situation.

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    Reineke Mediations has over 3 decades of legal experience in helping families find divorce resolutions. 

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    We believe any aspect of divorce and custody can be resolved without a courtroom fight. Beth Reineke has experience with mediating complex property division, entrenched custody disputes, and high-stakes alimony and child support issues. Reineke Mediations provides creative suggestions, gentle guidance, and reality check wisdom from years of hard work in courtroom wars.

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Hillsborough County Spousal Support Mediation

Contact us online or call (813) 205-6675 to explore in a free phone consultation whether you could benefit from having a lawyer mediate the alimony issues in your Florida divorce. Reineke Mediations serves Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Area.

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