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Crucial Changes to Florida Alimony and Child Support Statutes Families Need To Know

Major revisions to Florida Alimony and Child Support Laws, which were recently passed by the Florida Legislature and signed off by Governor Crist,  significantly changes the financial  outcome for divorced couples and family members as well as notably impacts parental rights, responsibilities, tax implications and scheduled visitation of minor children in common.  The new guidelines define and revise what were once “grey” areas by giving greater definition to the types of alimony, length of marriages and child support calculations.  Though these sweeping changes will ensure more just outcomes for some, these laws are also complex and can be confusing, at Brodie & Friedman, P.A. we have been drawing on our 20 years of combined experience to expertly counsel clients through these new laws, resolve concerns, relieve anxiety, and develop practical solutions to these difficult family-related legal challenges.
Because it is crucial that our clients—and the general community–understand the major modifications to the alimony and child support laws, we are dedicated to being at the forefront with knowledgeable counsel and giving individualized and detailed attention to each family, recognizing that every family and the issues at hand are unique.


The new amendments for Spousal Support (recently put into place):

  • allow for an award of more than one type of alimony: Bridge-The-Gap alimony to support a spouse’s transition from being married to being single, Rehabilitative Alimony, durational Alimony, Permanent Alimony and Child Suppor
  • provides for the modification and termination for categories of alimony awards
  • revise factors to be considered in whether to award alimony or maintenance
  • define rebuttable presumptions for the classification of the length of marriages as short-term (less than 7 years), moderate-term (greater than 7 years but less than 17 years),or long-term marriage (17 years or greater)
  • provides for the determination of the length of a marriage
  • outline sources of income that are now considered assets in alimony and property award determination
  • removes the first three combined monthly net income amounts on the guidelines schedule

The amendments for Child Support (effective January 1, 2011):

  • eliminate the 25% discount that has long been applied to amount of day care of paying parent
  • reduce the parenting adjustment application from 40% to 20% of overnights per year.
  • revise the deviation factors that a court may consider when adjusting a parent’s share of the child support award
  • provide that the burden of proof is on the party seeking to impute income to the other party
  • prohibit imputation of income for out-of-date records or unprecedented earnings
  • create a rebuttable presumption of census-level wages if information about earnings level is not provided
  • provide principles for implementing the support guidelines schedule along with effective date for monthly net income amounts
  • require all child support orders after a certain date to contain certain provisions

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