HB 549

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to alimony; amending s. 61.08, F.S.;
3revising factors to be considered for alimony awards;
4capping awards of alimony at a certain percentage of
5the payor's monthly net income; requiring a court to
6make certain written findings concerning alimony;
7revising factors to be considered in whether to award
8alimony or maintenance; revising provisions for the
9tax treatment and consequences of alimony; revising
10provisions relating to the protection of awards of
11alimony; revising provisions for awards of bridge-the-
12gap alimony and durational alimony; redesignating
13permanent alimony as long-term alimony and revising
14provisions relating to its award; providing
15nonreinstatement of alimony awards due to supportive
16relationships; providing termination of alimony upon
17full retirement age; repealing s. 2, ch. 2010-199 and
18s. 80, ch. 2011-92, Laws of Florida, relating to the
19applicability of specified prior amendments to s.
2061.08, F.S.; providing applicability for amendments
21made by the act to s. 61.08, F.S.; providing for
22retroactive effect; amending s. 61.14, F.S.; revising
23provisions relating to the effect of cohabitation on
24an award of alimony; providing that in the event of
25the obligor's remarriage or residing with another
26person, income and assets of the obligor's spouse or
27person with whom the obligor resides may not be
28considered in the redetermination in a modification
29action; providing that if an alimony award has been
30modified to terminate due to a supportive relationship
31and that supportive relationship does not produce a
32marriage, the alimony may not be reinstated; providing
33that if the court orders alimony concurrent with a
34child support order, the alimony award may not be
35modified due to the termination of child support;
36providing an effective date.
38Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
40     Section 1.  Section 61.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to
42     61.08  Alimony.-
43     (1)  In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage under s.
4461.052(1)(a), the court may grant alimony to either party, which
45alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or
46long-term permanent in nature or any combination of these forms
47of alimony. In any award of alimony, the court may order
48periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both, which may not
49exceed 20 percent of the payor's monthly net income to include
50all sources of income averaged over the last 3 years of the
51marriage. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse
52and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of
53alimony, if any, to be awarded. In all dissolution actions, the
54court shall include findings of fact relative to the factors
55enumerated in subsection (2) supporting an award or denial of
57     (2)  In determining whether to award alimony or
58maintenance, the court shall first make, in writing, a specific
59factual determination as to whether either party has an actual
60need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the
61ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a
62party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other
63party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in
64determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance
65under subsections (5)-(8), the court shall consider all relevant
66factors, including, but not limited to:
67     (a)  The standard of living established during the
69     (a)(b)  The duration of the marriage.
70     (b)(c)  The age and the physical and emotional condition of
71each party.
72     (c)(d)  The financial resources of each party, only to
73include including the nonmarital and the marital assets and
74liabilities acquired during the marriage distributed to each.
75     (d)(e)  The earning capacities, educational levels,
76vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when
77applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire
78sufficient education or training to enable such party to find
79appropriate employment.
80     (e)(f)  The contribution of each party to the marriage,
81including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking,
82child care, education, and career building of the other party.
83     (f)(g)  The responsibilities each party will have with
84regard to any minor children they have in common.
85     (g)(h)  The tax treatment and consequences to both parties
86of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a
87portion of the payment as taxable to the recipient and
88deductible to the payor a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
89     (h)(i)  All sources of income available to either party,
90including income available to either party through investments
91of any asset held by that party that were acquired during the
93     (j)  Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice
94between the parties.
95     (3)(a)  The court may require the payor to maintain a life
96insurance policy or bond to protect an award of alimony only if
97there is a specific factual determination in writing as to
98whether the recipient has an actual need. An order to secure a
99life insurance policy or a bond to protect an award of alimony
100shall be based upon due consideration of the following factors:
101     1.  Age and insurability of the payor.
102     2.  Cost of insurance, including decreasing term-life
104     3.  Amount of the judgment.
105     4.  Polices carried during the marriage.
106     5.  Duration of the alimony order.
107     6.  Prevailing interest rates at the time of the order.
108     7.  Other obligations of the payor.
109     (b)  An order to protect an alimony award is modifiable
110upon a substantial change in circumstance in accordance with s.
11161.14 and terminates as provided in subsection (9) To the extent
112necessary to protect an award of alimony, the court may order
113any party who is ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain
114a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such
115alimony award with any other assets which may be suitable for
116that purpose.
117     (4)  For purposes of determining alimony, the court shall
118recognize there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term
119marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a
120moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of
121greater than 7 years but less than 20 17 years, and long-term
122marriage is a marriage having a duration of 20 17 years or
123greater. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the
124date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for
125dissolution of marriage.
126     (5)  Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to assist a
127party by providing support to allow the party to make a
128transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap
129alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate
130identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may
131not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony
132terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage
133of the party receiving alimony. An award of bridge-the-gap
134alimony is shall not be modifiable in accordance with s. 61.14
135amount or duration.
136     (6)(a)  Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a
137party in establishing the capacity for self-support through
139     1.  The redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or
140     2.  The acquisition of education, training, or work
141experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or
143     (b)  In order to award rehabilitative alimony, there must
144be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan which shall be
145included as a part of any order awarding rehabilitative alimony.
146     (c)  An award of rehabilitative alimony shall may be
147modified or terminated in accordance with s. 61.14 based upon a
148substantial change in circumstances, upon noncompliance with the
149rehabilitative plan, or upon completion of the rehabilitative
151     (7)  Durational alimony may be awarded for a moderate-term
152or long-term marriage as defined in subsection (4) when
153permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of
154durational alimony is to provide a party with economic
155assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of
156short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long
157duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a long-term
158permanent basis as provided in subsection (8). An award of
159durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or
160upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. The amount
161of an award of durational alimony shall may be modified or
162terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or
163terminated upon the existence of a supportive relationship in
164accordance with s. 61.14. However, The length of an award of
165durational alimony may not exceed 50 percent of be modified
166except under exceptional circumstances and may not exceed the
167length of the marriage.
168     (8)  Long-term Permanent alimony may be awarded for a
169marriage having a duration of 20 years or greater as provided in
170subsection (4), may not exceed 60 percent of the length of the
171marriage, and may be extended as needed to continue support of a
172receiving party who was disabled during the marriage. The
173Division of Disability Determinations of the Department of
174Health must authenticate each claim of disability under this
175subsection. If the payor is certified as disabled by the
176Division of Disability Determinations of the Department of
177Health, the award of alimony shall be significantly reduced or
178terminated to provide for the needs and necessities of life as
179they were established during the marriage of the parties for a
180party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs
181and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage.
182Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long
183duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of
184the factors set forth in subsection (2), following a marriage of
185moderate duration if such an award is appropriate based upon
186clear and convincing evidence after consideration of the factors
187set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short
188duration if there are written findings of exceptional
189circumstances. In awarding permanent alimony, the court shall
190include a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and
191reasonable under the circumstances of the parties. An award of
192long-term permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either
193party, or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony, or
194as provided in subsection (9). An award shall may be modified or
195terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or
196upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance
197with s. 61.14.
198     (9)  Any award of alimony terminates upon the payor
199attaining the full retirement age when the payor is eligible for
200the old-age retirement benefit under the federal Old-Age,
201Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program, 42 U.S.C. s. 416,
202as amended, as of the date of filing of an action for
203dissolution of marriage. The payor's ability to work beyond that
204age may not be used as a reason to extend alimony.
205     (10)(9)  The award of alimony may not leave the payor with
206significantly less net income than the net income of the
207recipient unless there are written findings of exceptional
209     (11)  In accordance with s. 61.14, if an alimony award has
210been modified to terminate due to a supportive relationship and
211that supportive relationship does not produce a marriage, the
212recipient is not entitled to reinstatement of alimony from the
214     (12)(10)(a)  With respect to any order requiring the
215payment of alimony entered on or after January 1, 1985, unless
216the provisions of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) apply, the
217court shall direct in the order that the payments of alimony be
218made through the appropriate depository as provided in s.
220     (b)  With respect to any order requiring the payment of
221alimony entered before January 1, 1985, upon the subsequent
222appearance, on or after that date, of one or both parties before
223the court having jurisdiction for the purpose of modifying or
224enforcing the order or in any other proceeding related to the
225order, or upon the application of either party, unless the
226provisions of paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) apply, the court
227shall modify the terms of the order as necessary to direct that
228payments of alimony be made through the appropriate depository
229as provided in s. 61.181.
230     (c)  If there is no minor child, alimony payments need not
231be directed through the depository.
232     (d)1.  If there is a minor child of the parties and both
233parties so request, the court may order that alimony payments
234need not be directed through the depository. In this case, the
235order of support shall provide, or be deemed to provide, that
236either party may subsequently apply to the depository to require
237that payments be made through the depository. The court shall
238provide a copy of the order to the depository.
239     2.  If the provisions of subparagraph 1. apply, either
240party may subsequently file with the depository an affidavit
241alleging default or arrearages in payment and stating that the
242party wishes to initiate participation in the depository
243program. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to the
244court and the other party or parties. Fifteen days after receipt
245of the affidavit, the depository shall notify all parties that
246future payments shall be directed to the depository.
247     3.  In IV-D cases, the IV-D agency shall have the same
248rights as the obligee in requesting that payments be made
249through the depository.
250     Section 2.  Section 2 of chapter 2010-199 and section 80 of
251chapter 2011-92, Laws of Florida, are repealed.
252     Section 3.  The amendments to s. 61.08, Florida Statutes,
253made by this act constitute a material change of circumstance
254that warrants modification of existing alimony judgments that
255exceed durational limits set forth in s. 61.08(4)-(9), Florida
256Statutes, as amended by this act. Any modification filed by a
257payor pursuant to this section solely because the existing
258alimony judgment exceeds the durational limits set forth in s.
25961.08(4)-(9), Florida Statutes, as amended by this act, may be
260filed only as follows:
261     (1)  A payor who was married to the alimony recipient for
262more than 7 years may file a modification action in accordance
263with s. 61.08(4), Florida Statutes, no earlier than 2 years
264after the effective date of this act.
265     (2)  A payor who is eligible for the full old-age
266retirement benefit under the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and
267Disability Insurance Program, 42 U.S.C. s. 416, or who will
268become eligible for such benefit within 3 years after the
269effective date of this act, may file a modification action no
270earlier than 1 year after the effective date of this act.
272The amendments to s. 61.08, Florida Statutes, made by this act
273do not provide a right to seek or receive modification of an
274existing alimony judgment in which the parties have agreed in
275writing that their alimony judgment is not modifiable or in
276which the parties have expressed in writing their intention that
277their agreed alimony provisions survive the judgment and
278therefore are not modifiable.
279     Section 4.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
28061.14, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraphs (c), (d),
281and (e) are added to subsection (11) of that section, to read:
282     61.14  Enforcement and modification of support,
283maintenance, or alimony agreements or orders.-
284     (1)
285     (b)1.  The court must may reduce or terminate an award of
286alimony if it determines upon specific written findings by the
287court that since the granting of a divorce and the award of
288alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the
289obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides. The court
290shall make specific written findings that support such a
291determination. On the issue of whether alimony should be reduced
292or terminated under this paragraph, the burden is on the obligor
293to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive
294relationship exists.
295     2.  A person is deemed to maintain a supportive
296relationship when he or she shares a primary residence together
297with or without another person for a period of at least 3
298continuous months in a common household. In determining whether
299the obligee is maintaining a common household, the court may
300consider any of the following factors an existing award of
301alimony should be reduced or terminated because of an alleged
302supportive relationship between an obligee and a person who is
303not related by consanguinity or affinity and with whom the
304obligee resides, the court shall elicit the nature and extent of
305the relationship in question. The court shall give
306consideration, without limitation, to circumstances, including,
307but not limited to, the following, in determining the
308relationship of an obligee to another person:
309     a.  Oral or written statements or representations made to
310third parties regarding the relationship of the cohabitants.
311     b.  The economic interdependence of the couple or economic
312dependence of one party on the other.
313     c.  The common household couple engaging in conduct and
314collaborative roles in furtherance of their life together.
315     d.  The benefit in the life of either or both of the common
316household parties from their relationship.
317     e.  The community reputation of the parties as a couple.
318     f.  Other relevant and material factors.
319     a.  The extent to which the obligee and the other person
320have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in
321conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing
322address, referring to each other in terms such as "my husband"
323or "my wife," or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner
324that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.
325     b.  The period of time that the obligee has resided with
326the other person in a permanent place of abode.
327     c.  The extent to which the obligee and the other person
328have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited
329financial interdependence.
330     d.  The extent to which the obligee or the other person has
331supported the other, in whole or in part.
332     e.  The extent to which the obligee or the other person has
333performed valuable services for the other.
334     f.  The extent to which the obligee or the other person has
335performed valuable services for the other's company or employer.
336     g.  Whether the obligee and the other person have worked
337together to create or enhance anything of value.
338     h.  Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly
339contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
340     i.  Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the
341other person have an express agreement regarding property
342sharing or support.
343     j.  Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the
344other person have an implied agreement regarding property
345sharing or support.
346     k.  Whether the obligee and the other person have provided
347support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal
348duty to do so.
349     3.  This paragraph does not abrogate the requirement that
350every marriage in this state be solemnized under a license, does
351not recognize a common law marriage as valid, and does not
352recognize a de facto marriage. This paragraph recognizes only
353that relationships do exist that provide economic support
354equivalent to a marriage and that alimony terminable on
355remarriage may be reduced or terminated upon the establishment
356of equivalent equitable circumstances as described in this
357paragraph. The existence of a conjugal relationship, though it
358may be relevant to the nature and extent of the relationship, is
359not necessary for the application of the provisions of this
361     (11)
362     (c)  If the obligor remarries or resides with another
363person, income and assets of the obligor's spouse or person with
364whom the obligor resides may not be considered in the
365redetermination in a modification action.
366     (d)  If an alimony award has been modified to terminate due
367to a supportive relationship and that supportive relationship
368does not produce a marriage, the obligee is not entitled to
369reinstatement of alimony from the obligor.
370     (e)  If the court orders alimony concurrent with a child
371support order, the alimony award may not be modified due to the
372termination of child support when the child support payments
374     Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.