Florida Senate - 2016 SB 250
By Senator Lee
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to family law; amending s. 61.071,
3 F.S.; requiring a court to consider certain alimony
4 factors and make specific written findings of fact
5 after making specified determinations; prohibiting a
6 court from using certain presumptive alimony
7 guidelines in calculating alimony pendente lite;
8 amending s. 61.08, F.S.; defining terms; requiring a
9 court to make specified initial written findings in a
10 dissolution of marriage proceeding where a party has
11 requested alimony; requiring a court to make specified
12 findings before ruling on a request for alimony;
13 providing for determinations of presumptive alimony
14 amount range and duration range; providing
15 presumptions concerning alimony awards depending on
16 the duration of marriages; providing for imputation of
17 income in certain circumstances; providing for awards
18 of nominal alimony in certain circumstances; providing
19 for taxability and deductibility of alimony awards;
20 prohibiting a combined award of alimony and child
21 support from constituting more than a specified
22 percentage of a payor’s net income; authorizing the
23 court to order a party to protect an alimony award by
24 specified means; providing for termination of an
25 alimony award; authorizing a court to modify or
26 terminate the amount of an initial alimony award;
27 prohibiting a court from modifying the duration of an
28 alimony award; providing for payment of awards;
29 amending s. 61.13, F.S.; creating a presumption that
30 approximately equal time-sharing by both parents is in
31 the best interest of the child; revising a finite list
32 of factors that a court must evaluate when determining
33 whether the presumption of approximately equal time
34 sharing is overcome; requiring a court order to be
35 supported by written findings of fact under certain
36 circumstances; prohibiting a determination of parental
37 responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing
38 schedule unless certain determinations are made;
39 reenacting and amending s. 61.14, F.S.; providing that
40 a party may pursue an immediate modification of
41 alimony in certain circumstances; revising factors to
42 be considered in determining whether an existing award
43 of alimony should be reduced or terminated because of
44 an alleged supportive relationship; providing for
45 burden of proof for claims concerning the existence of
46 supportive relationships; providing for the effective
47 date of a reduction or termination of an alimony
48 award; providing that the remarriage of an alimony
49 obligor is not a substantial change in circumstance;
50 providing that the financial information of a spouse
51 of a party paying or receiving alimony is inadmissible
52 and undiscoverable; providing an exception; providing
53 for modification or termination of an award based on a
54 party’s retirement; providing a presumption upon a
55 finding of a substantial change in circumstance;
56 specifying factors to be considered in determining
57 whether to modify or terminate an award based on a
58 substantial change in circumstance; providing for a
59 temporary suspension of an obligor’s payment of
60 alimony while his or her petition for modification or
61 termination is pending; providing for an award of
62 attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party when a
63 party unreasonably pursues or defends modification of
64 an alimony award; providing for an effective date of a
65 modification or termination of an award; creating s.
66 61.192, F.S.; providing for motions to advance the
67 trial of certain actions if a specified period has
68 passed since the initial service on the respondent;
69 amending s. 61.30, F.S.; providing that whenever a
70 combined alimony and child support award constitutes
71 more than a specified percentage of a payor’s net
72 income, the child support award be adjusted to reduce
73 the combined total; providing applicability; providing
74 a directive to the Division of Law Revision and
75 Information; providing legislative findings; creating
76 s. 61.55, F.S.; providing a purpose; creating s.
77 61.56, F.S.; defining terms; creating s. 61.57, F.S.;
78 providing that a collaborative law process commences
79 when the parties enter into a collaborative law
80 participation agreement; prohibiting a tribunal from
81 ordering a party to participate in a collaborative law
82 process over the party’s objection; providing the
83 conditions under which a collaborative law process
84 concludes, terminates, or continues; creating s.
85 61.58, F.S.; providing for confidentiality of
86 communications made during the collaborative law
87 process; providing exceptions; reenacting s.
88 61.052(1)(b), F.S., relating to dissolution of
89 marriage, to incorporate the amendment made to s.
90 61.08, F.S., in a reference thereto; reenacting ss.
91 409.2563(10)(c) and 742.031(4)(b), F.S., relating to
92 administrative establishments of child support
93 obligations, and hearings and court orders for
94 support, respectively, to incorporate the amendment
95 made to s. 61.14, F.S., in references thereto;
96 providing that specified provisions do not take effect
97 until 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court adopts
98 rules of procedure and professional responsibility;
99 providing effective dates.
101 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
103 Section 1. Effective October 1, 2016, section 61.071,
104 Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
105 61.071 Alimony pendente lite; suit money.—In every
106 proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, a party may claim
107 alimony and suit money in the petition or by motion, and if the
108 petition is well founded, the court shall allow a reasonable sum
109 therefor. If a party in any proceeding for dissolution of
110 marriage claims alimony or suit money in his or her answer or by
111 motion, and the answer or motion is well founded, the court
112 shall allow a reasonable sum therefor. After determining that
113 there is a need for alimony and that there is an ability to pay
114 alimony, the court shall consider the alimony factors in s.
115 61.08(4)(b)1.-14. and make specific written findings of fact
116 regarding the relevant factors that justify an award of alimony
117 under this section. The court may not use the presumptive
118 alimony guidelines in s. 61.08 to calculate alimony under this
120 Section 2. Effective October 1, 2016, section 61.08,
121 Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
122 (Substantial rewording of section. See
123 s. 61.08, F.S., for present text.)
124 61.08 Alimony.—
125 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, unless the
126 context otherwise requires, the term:
127 (a)1. “Gross income” means recurring income from any source
128 and includes, but is not limited to:
129 a. Income from salaries.
130 b. Wages, including tips declared by the individual for
131 purposes of reporting to the Internal Revenue Service or tips
132 imputed to bring the employee’s gross earnings to the minimum
133 wage for the number of hours worked, whichever is greater.
134 c. Commissions.
135 d. Payments received as an independent contractor for labor
136 or services, which payments must be considered income from self
138 e. Bonuses.
139 f. Dividends.
140 g. Severance pay.
141 h. Pension payments and retirement benefits actually
143 i. Royalties.
144 j. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary
145 and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
146 k. Interest.
147 l. Trust income and distributions regularly received,
148 relied upon, or readily available to the beneficiary.
149 m. Annuity payments.
150 n. Capital gains.
151 o. Any money drawn by a self-employed individual for
152 personal use that is deducted as a business expense, which
153 moneys must be considered income from self-employment.
154 p. Social security benefits, including social security
155 benefits actually received by a party as a result of the
156 disability of that party.
157 q. Workers’ compensation benefits.
158 r. Unemployment insurance benefits.
159 s. Disability insurance benefits.
160 t. Funds payable from any health, accident, disability, or
161 casualty insurance to the extent that such insurance replaces
162 wages or provides income in lieu of wages.
163 u. Continuing monetary gifts.
164 v. Income from general partnerships, limited partnerships,
165 closely held corporations, or limited liability companies;
166 except that if a party is a passive investor, has a minority
167 interest in the company, and does not have any managerial duties
168 or input, the income to be recognized may be limited to actual
169 cash distributions received.
170 w. Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments or benefits
171 received by a party in the course of employment, self
172 employment, or operation of a business which reduce personal
173 living expenses.
174 x. Overtime pay.
175 y. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
176 z. Spousal support received from a previous marriage.
177 aa. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the
178 gain is nonrecurring.
179 2. “Gross income” does not include:
180 a. Child support payments received.
181 b. Benefits received from public assistance programs.
182 c. Social security benefits received by a parent on behalf
183 of a minor child as a result of the death or disability of a
184 parent or stepparent.
185 d. Earnings or gains on retirement accounts, including
186 individual retirement accounts; except that such earnings or
187 gains shall be included as income if a party takes a
188 distribution from the account. If a party is able to take a
189 distribution from the account without being subject to a federal
190 tax penalty for early distribution and the party chooses not to
191 take such a distribution, the court may consider the
192 distribution that could have been taken in determining the
193 party’s gross income.
194 3.a. For income from self-employment, rent, royalties,
195 proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a
196 partnership or closely held corporation, the term “gross income”
197 equals gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses, as
198 defined in sub-subparagraph b., which are required to produce
199 such income.
200 b. “Ordinary and necessary expenses,” as used in sub
201 subparagraph a., does not include amounts allowable by the
202 Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of
203 depreciation expenses or investment tax credits or any other
204 business expenses determined by the court to be inappropriate
205 for determining gross income for purposes of calculating
207 (b) “Potential income” means income which could be earned
208 by a party using his or her best efforts and includes potential
209 income from employment and potential income from the investment
210 of assets or use of property. Potential income from employment
211 is the income which a party could reasonably expect to earn by
212 working at a locally available, full-time job commensurate with
213 his or her education, training, and experience. Potential income
214 from the investment of assets or use of property is the income a
215 party could reasonably expect to earn from the investment of his
216 or her assets or the use of his or her property in a financially
217 prudent manner.
218 (c)1. “Underemployed” means a party is not working full
219 time in a position which is appropriate, based upon his or her
220 educational training and experience, and available in the
221 geographical area of his or her residence.
222 2. A party is not considered “underemployed” if he or she
223 is enrolled in an educational program that can be reasonably
224 expected to result in a degree or certification within a
225 reasonable period, so long as the educational program is:
226 a. Expected to result in higher income within the
227 foreseeable future.
228 b. A good faith educational choice based upon the previous
229 education, training, skills, and experience of the party and the
230 availability of immediate employment based upon the educational
231 program being pursued.
232 (d) “Years of marriage” means the number of whole years,
233 beginning from the date of the parties’ marriage until the date
234 of the filing of the action for dissolution of marriage.
235 (2) INITIAL FINDINGS.—When a party has requested alimony in
236 a dissolution of marriage proceeding, before granting or denying
237 an award of alimony, the court shall make initial written
238 findings as to:
239 (a) The amount of each party’s monthly gross income,
240 including, but not limited to, the actual or potential income,
241 and also including actual or potential income from nonmarital or
242 marital property distributed to each party.
243 (b) The years of marriage as determined from the date of
244 marriage through the date of the filing of the action for
245 dissolution of marriage.
246 (3) ALIMONY GUIDELINES.—After making the initial findings
247 described in subsection (2), the court shall calculate the
248 presumptive alimony amount range and the presumptive alimony
249 duration range. The court shall make written findings as to the
250 presumptive alimony amount range and presumptive alimony
251 duration range.
252 (a) Presumptive alimony amount range.—The low end of the
253 presumptive alimony amount range shall be calculated by using
254 the following formula:
256 (0.015 x the years of marriage) x the difference between the
257 monthly gross incomes of the parties
259 The high end of the presumptive alimony amount range shall be
260 calculated by using the following formula:
262 (0.020 x the years of marriage) x the difference between the
263 monthly gross incomes of the parties
265 For purposes of calculating the presumptive alimony amount
266 range, 20 years of marriage shall be used in calculating the low
267 end and high end for marriages of 20 years or more. In
268 calculating the difference between the parties’ monthly gross
269 income, the income of the party seeking alimony shall be
270 subtracted from the income of the other party. If the
271 application of the formulas to establish a guideline range
272 results in a negative number, the presumptive alimony amount
273 shall be $0. If a court establishes the duration of the alimony
274 award at 50 percent or less of the length of the marriage, the
275 court shall use the actual years of the marriage, up to a
276 maximum of 25 years, to calculate the high end of the
277 presumptive alimony amount range.
278 (b) Presumptive alimony duration range.—The low end of the
279 presumptive alimony duration range shall be calculated by using
280 the following formula:
282 0.25 x the years of marriage
284 The high end of the presumptive alimony duration range shall be
285 calculated by using the following formula:
287 0.75 x the years of marriage.
289 (4) ALIMONY AWARD.—
290 (a) Marriages of 2 years or less.—For marriages of 2 years
291 or less, there is a rebuttable presumption that no alimony shall
292 be awarded. The court may award alimony for a marriage with a
293 duration of 2 years or less only if the court makes written
294 findings that there is a clear and convincing need for alimony,
295 there is an ability to pay alimony, and that the failure to
296 award alimony would be inequitable. The court shall then
297 establish the alimony award in accordance with paragraph (b).
298 (b) Marriages of more than 2 years.—Absent an agreement of
299 the parties, alimony shall presumptively be awarded in an amount
300 within the alimony amount range calculated in paragraph (3)(a).
301 Absent an agreement of the parties, alimony shall presumptively
302 be awarded for a duration within the alimony duration range
303 calculated in paragraph (3)(b). In determining the amount and
304 duration of the alimony award, the court shall consider all of
305 the following factors upon which evidence was presented:
306 1. The financial resources of the recipient spouse,
307 including the actual or potential income from nonmarital or
308 marital property or any other source and the ability of the
309 recipient spouse to meet his or her reasonable needs
311 2. The financial resources of the payor spouse, including
312 the actual or potential income from nonmarital or marital
313 property or any other source and the ability of the payor spouse
314 to meet his or her reasonable needs while paying alimony.
315 3. The standard of living of the parties during the
316 marriage with consideration that there will be two households to
317 maintain after the dissolution of the marriage and that neither
318 party may be able to maintain the same standard of living after
319 the dissolution of the marriage.
320 4. The equitable distribution of marital property,
321 including whether an unequal distribution of marital property
322 was made to reduce or alleviate the need for alimony.
323 5. Both parties’ income, employment, and employability,
324 obtainable through reasonable diligence and additional training
325 or education, if necessary, and any necessary reduction in
326 employment due to the needs of an unemancipated child of the
327 marriage or the circumstances of the parties.
328 6. Whether a party could become better able to support
329 himself or herself and reduce the need for ongoing alimony by
330 pursuing additional educational or vocational training along
331 with all of the details of such educational or vocational plan,
332 including, but not limited to, the length of time required and
333 the anticipated costs of such educational or vocational
335 7. Whether one party has historically earned higher or
336 lower income than the income reflected at the time of trial and
337 the duration and consistency of income from overtime or
338 secondary employment.
339 8. Whether either party has foregone or postponed economic,
340 educational, or employment opportunities during the course of
341 the marriage.
342 9. Whether either party has caused the unreasonable
343 depletion or dissipation of marital assets.
344 10. The amount of temporary alimony and the number of
345 months that temporary alimony was paid to the recipient spouse.
346 11. The age, health, and physical and mental condition of
347 the parties, including consideration of significant health care
348 needs or uninsured or unreimbursed health care expenses.
349 12. Significant economic or noneconomic contributions to
350 the marriage or to the economic, educational, or occupational
351 advancement of a party, including, but not limited to, services
352 rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career
353 building of the other party, payment by one spouse of the other
354 spouse’s separate debts, or enhancement of the other spouse’s
355 personal or real property.
356 13. The tax consequence of the alimony award.
357 14. Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice
358 between the parties.
359 (c) Deviation from guidelines.—The court may establish an
360 award of alimony that is outside the presumptive alimony amount
361 or alimony duration ranges only if the court considers all of
362 the factors in paragraph (b) and makes specific written findings
363 concerning the relevant factors justifying that the application
364 of the presumptive alimony amount or alimony duration ranges, as
365 applicable, is inappropriate or inequitable.
366 (d) Order establishing alimony award.—After consideration
367 of the presumptive alimony amount and duration ranges in
368 accordance with paragraphs (3)(a) and (3)(b) and the factors
369 upon which evidence was presented in accordance with paragraph
370 (b), the court may establish an alimony award. An order
371 establishing an alimony award must clearly set forth both the
372 amount and the duration of the award. The court shall also make
373 a written finding that the payor has the financial ability to
374 pay the award.
375 (5) IMPUTATION OF INCOME.—If a party is voluntarily
376 unemployed or underemployed, alimony shall be calculated based
377 on a determination of potential income unless the court makes
378 specific written findings regarding the circumstances that make
379 it inequitable to impute income.
380 (6) NOMINAL ALIMONY.—Notwithstanding subsections (1), (3),
381 and (4), the court may make an award of nominal alimony in the
382 amount of $1 per year if, at the time of trial, a party who has
383 traditionally provided the primary source of financial support
384 to the family temporarily lacks the ability to pay support but
385 is reasonably anticipated to have the ability to pay support in
386 the future. The court may also award nominal alimony for an
387 alimony recipient who is presently able to work but for whom a
388 medical condition with a reasonable degree of medical certainty
389 may inhibit or prevent his or her ability to work during the
390 duration of the alimony period. The duration of the nominal
391 alimony shall be established within the presumptive durational
392 range based upon the length of the marriage subject to the
393 alimony factors in paragraph (4)(b). Before the expiration of
394 the durational period, nominal alimony may be modified in
395 accordance with s. 61.14 as to amount to a full alimony award
396 using the alimony guidelines and factors in accordance with this
398 (7) TAXABILITY AND DEDUCTIBILITY OF ALIMONY.—
399 (a) Unless otherwise stated in the judgment or order for
400 alimony or in an agreement incorporated thereby, alimony shall
401 be deductible from income by the payor under s. 215 of the
402 Internal Revenue Code and includable in the income of the payee
403 under s. 71 of the Internal Revenue Code.
404 (b) When making a judgment or order for alimony, the court
405 may, in its discretion after weighing the equities and tax
406 efficiencies, order alimony be nondeductible from income by the
407 payor and nonincludable in the income of the payee.
408 (c) The parties may, in a marital settlement agreement,
409 separation agreement, or related agreement, specifically agree
410 in writing that alimony be nondeductible from income by the
411 payor and nonincludable in the income of the payee.
412 (8) MAXIMUM COMBINED AWARD.—A combined award of alimony and
413 child support may not constitute more than 55 percent of the
414 payor’s net income, calculated without any consideration of
415 alimony or child support obligations.
416 (9) SECURITY OF AWARD.—To the extent necessary to protect
417 an award of alimony, the court may order any party who is
418 ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain a decreasing term
419 life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such
420 alimony award with any other assets that may be suitable for
421 that purpose, in an amount adequate to secure the alimony award.
422 Any such security may be awarded only upon a showing of special
423 circumstances. If the court finds special circumstances and
424 awards such security, the court must make specific evidentiary
425 findings regarding the availability, cost, and financial impact
426 on the obligated party. Any security may be modifiable in the
427 event the underlying alimony award is modified and shall be
428 reduced in an amount commensurate with any reduction in the
429 alimony award.
430 (10) TERMINATION OF AWARD.—An alimony award shall terminate
431 upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the obligee.
432 (11) MODIFICATION OF AWARD.—A court may subsequently modify
433 or terminate the amount of an award of alimony initially
434 established under this section in accordance with s. 61.14.
435 However, a court may not modify the duration of an award of
436 alimony initially established under this section.
437 (12) PAYMENT OF AWARD.—
438 (a) With respect to an order requiring the payment of
439 alimony entered on or after January 1, 1985, unless paragraph
440 (c) or paragraph (d) applies, the court shall direct in the
441 order that the payments of alimony be made through the
442 appropriate depository as provided in s. 61.181.
443 (b) With respect to an order requiring the payment of
444 alimony entered before January 1, 1985, upon the subsequent
445 appearance, on or after that date, of one or both parties before
446 the court having jurisdiction for the purpose of modifying or
447 enforcing the order or in any other proceeding related to the
448 order, or upon the application of either party, unless paragraph
449 (c) or paragraph (d) applies, the court shall modify the terms
450 of the order as necessary to direct that payments of alimony be
451 made through the appropriate depository as provided in s.
453 (c) If there is no minor child, alimony payments do not
454 need to be directed through the depository.
455 (d)1. If there is a minor child of the parties and both
456 parties so request, the court may order that alimony payments do
457 not need to be directed through the depository. In this case,
458 the order of support shall provide, or be deemed to provide,
459 that either party may subsequently apply to the depository to
460 require that payments be made through the depository. The court
461 shall provide a copy of the order to the depository.
462 2. If subparagraph 1. applies, either party may
463 subsequently file with the clerk of the court a verified motion
464 alleging a default or arrearages in payment stating that the
465 party wishes to initiate participation in the depository
466 program. The moving party shall copy the other party with the
467 motion. No later than 15 days after filing the motion, the court
468 shall conduct an evidentiary hearing establishing the default
469 and arrearages, if any, and issue an order directing the clerk
470 of the circuit court to establish, or amend an existing, family
471 law case history account, and further advising the parties that
472 future payments must thereafter be directed through the
474 3. In IV-D cases, the Title IV-D agency shall have the same
475 rights as the obligee in requesting that payments be made
476 through the depository.
477 Section 3. Effective October 1, 2016, subsection (3) of
478 section 61.13, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
479 61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing;
480 powers of court.—
481 (3) For purposes of establishing or modifying parental
482 responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying
483 a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which
484 governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child
485 and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or
486 her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the
487 primary consideration.
488 (a) Approximately equal time-sharing with a minor child by
489 both parents is presumed to be in the best interest of the
490 child. In determining whether the presumption is overcome, the
491 court shall evaluate the evidence based on
A determination of
492 parental responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing
493 schedule may not be modified without a showing of a substantial,
494 material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a
495 determination that the modification is in the best interests of
496 the child. Determination of the best interests of the child
497 shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the
498 welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the
499 circumstances of that family, including , but not limited to:
500 1. (a) The demonstrated capacity or and disposition of each
501 parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing
502 parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule,
503 and to be reasonable when changes are required.
504 2. (b) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities
505 after the litigation, including the extent to which parental
506 responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
507 3. (c) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each
508 parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the
509 child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
510 4. (d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable,
511 satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining
513 5. (e) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with
514 special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and
515 the amount of time to be spent traveling to carry out effectuate
516 the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption
517 for or against relocation of either parent with a child.
518 6. (f) The moral fitness of the parents.
519 7. (g) The mental and physical health of the parents.
520 8. (h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
521 9. (i) The reasonable preference of the child , if the court
522 deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding,
523 and experience to express a preference.
524 10. (j) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, or and
525 disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances
526 of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child’s
527 friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and
528 favorite things.
529 11. (k) The demonstrated capacity or and disposition of each
530 parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as
531 discipline , and daily schedules for homework, meals, and
533 12. (l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to
534 communicate with the other parent and keep the other parent
535 informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and
536 the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all
537 major issues when dealing with the child.
538 13. (m) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence,
539 child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of
540 whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has
541 been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending
542 actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child
543 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must
544 specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was
545 considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.
546 14. (n) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided
547 false information to the court regarding any prior or pending
548 action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child
549 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
550 15. (o) The demonstrated capacity or disposition of each
551 parent to perform or ensure the performance of particular
552 parenting tasks customarily performed by the other each parent
553 and the division of parental responsibilities before the
554 institution of litigation and during the pending litigation,
555 including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were
556 undertaken by third parties.
557 16. (p) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each
558 parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and
559 extracurricular activities.
560 17. (q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each
561 parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free
562 from substance abuse.
563 18. (r) The capacity and disposition of each parent to
564 protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by
565 not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing
566 documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the
567 child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other
568 parent to the child.
569 19. (s) The developmental stages and needs of the child and
570 the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet
571 the child’s developmental needs.
572 20. The amount of time-sharing requested by each parent.
573 21. The frequency that a parent would likely leave the
574 child in the care of a nonrelative on evenings and weekends when
575 the other parent would be available and willing to provide care.
576 22. (t) Any other factor that is relevant to the
577 determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time
578 sharing schedule.
579 (b) A court order must be supported by written findings of
580 fact if the order establishes an initial permanent time-sharing
581 schedule that does not provide for approximately equal time
583 (c) A determination of parental responsibility, a parenting
584 plan, or a time-sharing schedule may not be modified without a
585 determination that such modification is in the best interest of
586 the child and upon a showing of a substantial, material, and
587 unanticipated change in circumstances.
588 Section 4. Effective October 1, 2016, subsection (1) of
589 section 61.14, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (a)
590 of subsection (5) is reenacted, to read:
591 61.14 Enforcement and modification of support, maintenance,
592 or alimony agreements or orders.—
593 (1)(a) When the parties enter into an agreement for
594 payments for, or instead of, support, maintenance, or alimony,
595 whether in connection with a proceeding for dissolution or
596 separate maintenance or with any voluntary property settlement,
597 or when a party is required by court order to make any payments,
598 and the circumstances or the financial ability of either party
599 changes or the child who is a beneficiary of an agreement or
600 court order as described herein reaches majority after the
601 execution of the agreement or the rendition of the order, either
602 party may apply to the circuit court of the circuit in which the
603 parties, or either of them, resided at the date of the execution
604 of the agreement or reside at the date of the application, or in
605 which the agreement was executed or in which the order was
606 rendered, for an order decreasing or increasing the amount of
607 support, maintenance, or alimony, and the court has jurisdiction
608 to make orders as equity requires, with due regard to the
609 changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or
610 the child, decreasing, increasing, or confirming the amount of
611 separate support, maintenance, or alimony provided for in the
612 agreement or order. However, a court may not decrease or
613 increase the duration of alimony provided for in the agreement
614 or order. A party is entitled to pursue an immediate
615 modification of alimony if the actual income earned by the other
616 party exceeds by at least 10 percent the amount imputed to that
617 party at the time the existing alimony award was determined and
618 such circumstance shall constitute a substantial change in
619 circumstance sufficient to support a modification of alimony.
620 However, an increase in an alimony obligor’s income alone does
621 not constitute a basis for a modification to increase alimony
622 unless at the time the alimony award was established it was
623 determined that the obligor was underemployed or unemployed and
624 the court did not impute income to that party at his or her
625 maximum potential income. If an alimony obligor becomes
626 involuntarily underemployed or unemployed for 6 months after the
627 entry of the last order requiring the payment of alimony, the
628 obligor is entitled to pursue an immediate modification of his
629 or her existing alimony obligations and such circumstance shall
630 constitute a substantial change in circumstance sufficient to
631 support a modification of alimony. A finding that medical
632 insurance is reasonably available or the child support
633 guidelines schedule in s. 61.30 may constitute changed
634 circumstances. Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.30(11)(c),
635 the court may modify an order of support, maintenance, or
636 alimony by increasing or decreasing the support, maintenance, or
637 alimony retroactively to the date of the filing of the action or
638 supplemental action for modification as equity requires, giving
639 due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability
640 of the parties or the child.
641 (b)1. The court may reduce or terminate an award of alimony
642 upon specific written findings by the court that since the
643 granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive
644 relationship exists or has existed within the previous year
645 before the date of the filing of the petition for modification
646 or termination between the obligee and another a person with
647 whom the obligee resides. On the issue of whether alimony should
648 be reduced or terminated under this paragraph, the burden is on
649 the obligor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a
650 supportive relationship exists.
651 2. In determining whether an existing award of alimony
652 should be reduced or terminated because of an alleged supportive
653 relationship between an obligee and a person who is not related
654 by consanguinity or affinity and with whom the obligee resides,
655 the court shall elicit the nature and extent of the relationship
656 in question. The court shall give consideration, without
657 limitation, to circumstances, including, but not limited to, the
658 following, in determining the relationship of an obligee to
659 another person:
660 a. The extent to which the obligee and the other person
661 have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in
662 conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing
663 address, referring to each other in terms such as “my spouse”
664 “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise conducting themselves in
665 a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.
666 b. The period of time that the obligee has resided with the
667 other person in a permanent place of abode.
668 c. The extent to which the obligee and the other person
669 have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited
670 financial interdependence.
671 d. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has
672 supported the other, in whole or in part.
673 e. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has
674 performed valuable services for the other.
675 f. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has
676 performed valuable services for the other’s company or employer.
677 g. Whether the obligee and the other person have worked
678 together to create or enhance anything of value.
679 h. Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly
680 contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
681 i. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the
682 other person have an express agreement regarding property
683 sharing or support.
684 j. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the
685 other person have an implied agreement regarding property
686 sharing or support.
687 k. Whether the obligee and the other person have provided
688 support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal
689 duty to do so.
690 l. Whether the obligor’s failure, in whole or in part, to
691 comply with all court-ordered financial obligations to the
692 obligee constituted a significant factor in the establishment of
693 the supportive relationship.
694 3. In any proceeding to modify an alimony award based upon
695 a supportive relationship, the obligor has the burden of proof
696 to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a
697 supportive relationship exists or has existed within the
698 previous year before the date of the filing of the petition for
699 modification or termination. The obligor is not required to
700 prove cohabitation of the obligee and the third party.
701 4. Notwithstanding paragraph (f), if a reduction or
702 termination is granted under this paragraph, the reduction or
703 termination is retroactive to the date of filing of the petition
704 for reduction or termination.
705 5. 3. This paragraph does not abrogate the requirement that
706 every marriage in this state be solemnized under a license, does
707 not recognize a common law marriage as valid, and does not
708 recognize a de facto marriage. This paragraph recognizes only
709 that relationships do exist that provide economic support
710 equivalent to a marriage and that alimony terminable on
711 remarriage may be reduced or terminated upon the establishment
712 of equivalent equitable circumstances as described in this
713 paragraph. The existence of a conjugal relationship, though it
714 may be relevant to the nature and extent of the relationship, is
715 not necessary for the application of the provisions of this
717 (c)1. For purposes of this section, the remarriage of an
718 alimony obligor does not constitute a substantial change in
719 circumstance or a basis for a modification of alimony.
720 2. The financial information, including, but not limited
721 to, information related to assets and income, of a subsequent
722 spouse of a party paying or receiving alimony is inadmissible
723 and may not be considered as a part of any modification action
724 unless a party is claiming that his or her income has decreased
725 since the marriage. If a party makes such a claim, the financial
726 information of the subsequent spouse is discoverable and
727 admissible only to the extent necessary to establish whether the
728 party claiming that his or her income has decreased is diverting
729 income or assets to the subsequent spouse that might otherwise
730 be available for the payment of alimony. However, this
731 subparagraph may not be used to prevent the discovery of or
732 admissibility in evidence of the income or assets of a party
733 when those assets are held jointly with a subsequent spouse.
734 This subparagraph is not intended to prohibit the discovery or
735 admissibility of a joint tax return filed by a party and his or
736 her subsequent spouse in connection with a modification of
738 (d)1. An obligor may file a petition for modification or
739 termination of an alimony award based upon his or her actual
741 a. A substantial change in circumstance is deemed to exist
743 (I) The obligor has reached the age for eligibility to
744 receive full retirement benefits under s. 216 of the Social
745 Security Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 416, and has retired; or
746 (II) The obligor has reached the customary retirement age
747 for his or her occupation and has retired from that occupation.
748 An obligor may file an action within 1 year of his or her
749 anticipated retirement date and the court shall determine the
750 customary retirement date for the obligor’s profession. However,
751 a determination of the customary retirement age is not an
752 adjudication of a petition for a modification of an alimony
754 b. If an obligor voluntarily retires before reaching any of
755 the ages described in sub-subparagraph a., the court shall
756 determine whether the obligor’s retirement is reasonable upon
757 consideration of the obligor’s age, health, and motivation for
758 retirement and the financial impact on the obligee. A finding of
759 reasonableness by the court shall constitute a substantial
760 change in circumstance.
761 2. Upon a finding of a substantial change in circumstance,
762 there is a rebuttable presumption that an obligor’s existing
763 alimony obligation shall be modified or terminated. The court
764 shall modify or terminate the alimony obligation, or make a
765 determination regarding whether the rebuttable presumption has
766 been overcome, based upon the following factors applied to the
767 current circumstances of the obligor and obligee:
768 a. The age of the parties.
769 b. The health of the parties.
770 c. The assets and liabilities of the parties.
771 d. The earned or imputed income of the parties as provided
772 in s. 61.08(1)(a) and (5).
773 e. The ability of the parties to maintain part-time or
774 full-time employment.
775 f. Any other factor deemed relevant by the court.
776 3. The court may temporarily reduce or suspend the
777 obligor’s payment of alimony while his or her petition for
778 modification or termination under this paragraph is pending.
779 (e) A party who unreasonably pursues or defends an action
780 for modification of alimony shall be required to pay the
781 reasonable attorney fees and costs of the prevailing party.
782 Further, a party obligated to pay prevailing party attorney fees
783 and costs in connection with unreasonably pursuing or defending
784 an action for modification is not entitled to an award of
785 attorney fees and cost in accordance with s. 61.16.
786 (f) There is a rebuttable presumption that a modification
787 or termination of an alimony award is retroactive to the date of
788 the filing of the petition, unless the obligee demonstrates that
789 the result is inequitable.
790 (g) (c) For each support order reviewed by the department as
791 required by s. 409.2564(11), if the amount of the child support
792 award under the order differs by at least 10 percent but not
793 less than $25 from the amount that would be awarded under s.
794 61.30, the department shall seek to have the order modified and
795 any modification shall be made without a requirement for proof
796 or showing of a change in circumstances.
797 (h) (d) The department may shall have authority to adopt
798 rules to implement this section.
799 (5)(a) When a court of competent jurisdiction enters an
800 order for the payment of alimony or child support or both, the
801 court shall make a finding of the obligor’s imputed or actual
802 present ability to comply with the order. If the obligor
803 subsequently fails to pay alimony or support and a contempt
804 hearing is held, the original order of the court creates a
805 presumption that the obligor has the present ability to pay the
806 alimony or support and to purge himself or herself from the
807 contempt. At the contempt hearing, the obligor shall have the
808 burden of proof to show that he or she lacks the ability to
809 purge himself or herself from the contempt. This presumption is
810 adopted as a presumption under s. 90.302(2) to implement the
811 public policy of this state that children shall be maintained
812 from the resources of their parents and as provided for in s.
813 409.2551, and that spouses be maintained as provided for in s.
814 61.08. The court shall state in its order the reasons for
815 granting or denying the contempt.
816 Section 5. Effective October 1, 2016, section 61.192,
817 Florida Statutes, is created to read:
818 61.192 Advancing trial.—In an action brought pursuant to
819 this chapter, if more than 2 years have passed since the initial
820 petition was served on the respondent, either party may move the
821 court to advance the trial of their action on the docket. This
822 motion may be made at any time after 2 years have passed since
823 the petition was served, and once made the court must give the
824 case priority on the court’s calendar.
825 Section 6. Effective October 1, 2016, paragraph (d) is
826 added to subsection (11) of section 61.30, Florida Statutes, to
828 61.30 Child support guidelines; retroactive child support.—
830 (d) Whenever a combined alimony and child support award
831 constitutes more than 55 percent of the payor’s net income,
832 calculated without any consideration of alimony or child support
833 obligations, the court shall adjust the award of child support
834 to ensure that the 55 percent cap is not exceeded.
835 Section 7. The amendments made by this act to sections
836 61.071, 61.08, 61.13, 61.14, 61.192, and 61.30, Florida
837 Statutes, apply to all initial determinations of alimony and all
838 alimony modification actions that are pending on October 1,
839 2016, and to all initial determinations of alimony and all
840 alimony modification actions brought on or after October 1,
841 2016. The enacting of this act may not serve as the sole basis
842 for a party to seek a modification of an alimony award existing
843 before October 1, 2016.
844 Section 8. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
845 directed to create part III of chapter 61, Florida Statutes,
846 consisting of ss. 61.55-61.58, Florida Statutes, to be entitled
847 the “Collaborative Law Process Act.”
848 Section 9. The Legislature finds and declares that the
849 purpose of part III of chapter 61, Florida Statutes, is to:
850 (1) Create a uniform system of practice for a collaborative
851 law process for proceedings under chapters 61 and 742, Florida
853 (2) Encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes and the
854 early settlement of pending litigation through voluntary
855 settlement procedures.
856 (3) Preserve the working relationship between parties to a
857 dispute through a nonadversarial method that reduces the
858 emotional and financial toll of litigation.
859 Section 10. Section 61.55, Florida Statutes, is created to
861 61.55 Purpose.—The purpose of this part is to create a
862 uniform system of practice for the collaborative law process in
863 this state. It is the policy of this state to encourage the
864 peaceful resolution of disputes and the early resolution of
865 pending litigation through a voluntary settlement process. The
866 collaborative law process is a unique nonadversarial process
867 that preserves a working relationship between the parties and
868 reduces the emotional and financial toll of litigation.
869 Section 11. Section 61.56, Florida Statutes, is created to
871 61.56 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
872 (1) “Collaborative attorney” means an attorney who
873 represents a party in a collaborative law process.
874 (2) “Collaborative law communication” means an oral or
875 written statement, including a statement made in a record, or
876 nonverbal conduct that:
877 (a) Is made in the conduct of or in the course of
878 participating in, continuing, or reconvening for a collaborative
879 law process; and
880 (b) Occurs after the parties sign a collaborative law
881 participation agreement and before the collaborative law process
882 is concluded or terminated.
883 (3) “Collaborative law participation agreement” means an
884 agreement between persons to participate in a collaborative law
886 (4) “Collaborative law process” means a process intended to
887 resolve a collaborative matter without intervention by a
888 tribunal and in which persons sign a collaborative law
889 participation agreement and are represented by collaborative
891 (5) “Collaborative matter” means a dispute, a transaction,
892 a claim, a problem, or an issue for resolution, including a
893 dispute, a claim, or an issue in a proceeding which is described
894 in a collaborative law participation agreement and arises under
895 chapter 61 or chapter 742, including, but not limited to:
896 (a) Marriage, divorce, dissolution, annulment, and marital
897 property distribution.
898 (b) Child custody, visitation, parenting plan, and
899 parenting time.
900 (c) Alimony, maintenance, and child support.
901 (d) Parental relocation with a child.
902 (e) Parentage and paternity.
903 (f) Premarital, marital, and postmarital agreements.
904 (6) “Law firm” means:
905 (a) One or more attorneys who practice law in a
906 partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship,
907 limited liability company, or association; or
908 (b) One or more attorneys employed in a legal services
909 organization, the legal department of a corporation or other
910 organization, or the legal department of a governmental entity,
911 subdivision, agency, or instrumentality.
912 (7) “Nonparty participant” means a person, other than a
913 party and the party’s collaborative attorney, who participates
914 in a collaborative law process.
915 (8) “Party” means a person who signs a collaborative law
916 participation agreement and whose consent is necessary to
917 resolve a collaborative matter.
918 (9) “Person” means an individual; a corporation; a business
919 trust; an estate; a trust; a partnership; a limited liability
920 company; an association; a joint venture; a public corporation;
921 a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or
922 instrumentality; or any other legal or commercial entity.
923 (10) “Proceeding” means a judicial, administrative,
924 arbitral, or other adjudicative process before a tribunal,
925 including related prehearing and posthearing motions,
926 conferences, and discovery.
927 (11) “Prospective party” means a person who discusses with
928 a prospective collaborative attorney the possibility of signing
929 a collaborative law participation agreement.
930 (12) “Record” means information that is inscribed on a
931 tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other
932 medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
933 (13) “Related to a collaborative matter” means involving
934 the same parties, transaction or occurrence, nucleus of
935 operative fact, dispute, claim, or issue as the collaborative
937 (14) “Sign” means, with present intent to authenticate or
938 adopt a record, to:
939 (a) Execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
940 (b) Attach to or logically associate with the record an
941 electronic symbol, sound, or process.
942 (15) “Tribunal” means a court, an arbitrator, an
943 administrative agency, or other body acting in an adjudicative
944 capacity which, after presentation of evidence or legal
945 argument, has jurisdiction to render a decision affecting a
946 party’s interests in a matter.
947 Section 12. Section 61.57, Florida Statutes, is created to
949 61.57 Beginning, concluding, and terminating a
950 collaborative law process.—
951 (1) The collaborative law process commences, regardless of
952 whether a legal proceeding is pending, when the parties enter
953 into a collaborative law participation agreement.
954 (2) A tribunal may not order a party to participate in a
955 collaborative law process over that party’s objection.
956 (3) A collaborative law process is concluded by any of the
958 (a) Resolution of a collaborative matter as evidenced by a
959 signed record;
960 (b) Resolution of a part of the collaborative matter,
961 evidenced by a signed record, in which the parties agree that
962 the remaining parts of the collaborative matter will not be
963 resolved in the collaborative law process; or
964 (c) Termination of the collaborative law process.
965 (4) A collaborative law process terminates when a party:
966 (a) Gives notice to the other parties in a record that the
967 collaborative law process is concluded;
968 (b) Begins a proceeding related to a collaborative matter
969 without the consent of all parties;
970 (c) Initiates a pleading, a motion, an order to show cause,
971 or a request for a conference with a tribunal in a pending
972 proceeding related to a collaborative matter;
973 (d) Requests that the proceeding be put on the tribunal’s
974 active calendar in a pending proceeding related to a
975 collaborative matter;
976 (e) Takes similar action requiring notice to be sent to the
977 parties in a pending proceeding related to a collaborative
978 matter; or
979 (f) Discharges a collaborative attorney or a collaborative
980 attorney withdraws from further representation of a party,
981 except as otherwise provided in subsection (7).
982 (5) A party’s collaborative attorney shall give prompt
983 notice to all other parties in a record of a discharge or
985 (6) A party may terminate a collaborative law process with
986 or without cause.
987 (7) Notwithstanding the discharge or withdrawal of a
988 collaborative attorney, the collaborative law process continues
989 if, not later than 30 days after the date that the notice of the
990 discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative attorney required by
991 subsection (5) is sent to the parties:
992 (a) The unrepresented party engages a successor
993 collaborative attorney;
994 (b) The parties consent to continue the collaborative law
995 process by reaffirming the collaborative law participation
996 agreement in a signed record;
997 (c) The collaborative law participation agreement is
998 amended to identify the successor collaborative attorney in a
999 signed record; and
1000 (d) The successor collaborative attorney confirms his or
1001 her representation of a party in the collaborative law
1002 participation agreement in a signed record.
1003 (8) A collaborative law process does not conclude if, with
1004 the consent of the parties, a party requests a tribunal to
1005 approve a resolution of a collaborative matter or any part
1006 thereof as evidenced by a signed record.
1007 (9) A collaborative law participation agreement may provide
1008 additional methods for concluding a collaborative law process.
1009 Section 13. Section 61.58, Florida Statutes, is created to
1011 61.58 Confidentiality of a collaborative law
1012 communication.—Except as provided in this section, a
1013 collaborative law communication is confidential to the extent
1014 agreed by the parties in a signed record or as otherwise
1015 provided by law.
1016 (1) PRIVILEGE AGAINST DISCLOSURE FOR COLLABORATIVE LAW
1017 COMMUNICATION; ADMISSIBILITY; DISCOVERY.—
1018 (a) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a collaborative law
1019 communication is privileged as provided under paragraph (b), is
1020 not subject to discovery, and is not admissible into evidence.
1021 (b) In a proceeding, the following privileges apply:
1022 1. A party may refuse to disclose, and may prevent another
1023 person from disclosing, a collaborative law communication.
1024 2. A nonparty participant may refuse to disclose, and may
1025 prevent another person from disclosing, a collaborative law
1026 communication of a nonparty participant.
1027 (c) Evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or
1028 subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected
1029 from discovery solely because of its disclosure or use in a
1030 collaborative law process.
1031 (2) WAIVER AND PRECLUSION OF PRIVILEGE.—
1032 (a) A privilege under subsection (1) may be waived orally
1033 or in a record during a proceeding if it is expressly waived by
1034 all parties and, in the case of the privilege of a nonparty
1035 participant, if it is expressly waived by the nonparty
1037 (b) A person who makes a disclosure or representation about
1038 a collaborative law communication that prejudices another person
1039 in a proceeding may not assert a privilege under subsection (1).
1040 This preclusion applies only to the extent necessary for the
1041 person prejudiced to respond to the disclosure or
1043 (3) LIMITS OF PRIVILEGE.—
1044 (a) A privilege under subsection (1) does not apply to a
1045 collaborative law communication that is:
1046 1. Available to the public under chapter 119 or made during
1047 a session of a collaborative law process that is open, or is
1048 required by law to be open, to the public;
1049 2. A threat, or statement of a plan, to inflict bodily
1050 injury or commit a crime of violence;
1051 3. Intentionally used to plan a crime, commit or attempt to
1052 commit a crime, or conceal an ongoing crime or ongoing criminal
1053 activity; or
1054 4. In an agreement resulting from the collaborative law
1055 process, as evidenced by a record signed by all parties to the
1057 (b) The privilege under subsection (1) for a collaborative
1058 law communication does not apply to the extent that such
1059 collaborative law communication is:
1060 1. Sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or
1061 complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice arising from
1062 or relating to a collaborative law process; or
1063 2. Sought or offered to prove or disprove abuse, neglect,
1064 abandonment, or exploitation of a child or adult unless the
1065 Department of Children and Families is a party to or otherwise
1066 participates in the process.
1067 (c) A privilege under subsection (1) does not apply if a
1068 tribunal finds, after a hearing in camera, that the party
1069 seeking discovery or the proponent of the evidence has shown
1070 that the evidence is not otherwise available, the need for the
1071 evidence substantially outweighs the interest in protecting
1072 confidentiality, and the collaborative law communication is
1073 sought or offered in:
1074 1. A court proceeding involving a felony; or
1075 2. A proceeding seeking rescission or reformation of a
1076 contract arising out of the collaborative law process or in
1077 which a defense is asserted to avoid liability on the contract.
1078 (d) If a collaborative law communication is subject to an
1079 exception under paragraph (b) or paragraph (c), only the part of
1080 the collaborative law communication necessary for the
1081 application of the exception may be disclosed or admitted.
1082 (e) Disclosure or admission of evidence excepted from the
1083 privilege under paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) does not make the
1084 evidence or any other collaborative law communication
1085 discoverable or admissible for any other purpose.
1086 (f) The privilege under subsection (1) does not apply if
1087 the parties agree in advance in a signed record, or if a record
1088 of a proceeding reflects agreement by the parties, that all or
1089 part of a collaborative law process is not privileged. This
1090 paragraph does not apply to a collaborative law communication
1091 made by a person who did not receive actual notice of the
1092 collaborative law participation agreement before the
1093 communication was made.
1094 Section 14. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
1095 made by this act to section 61.08, Florida Statutes, in a
1096 reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
1097 61.052, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
1098 61.052 Dissolution of marriage.—
1099 (1) No judgment of dissolution of marriage shall be granted
1100 unless one of the following facts appears, which shall be
1101 pleaded generally:
1102 (b) Mental incapacity of one of the parties. However, no
1103 dissolution shall be allowed unless the party alleged to be
1104 incapacitated shall have been adjudged incapacitated according
1105 to the provisions of s. 744.331 for a preceding period of at
1106 least 3 years. Notice of the proceeding for dissolution shall be
1107 served upon one of the nearest blood relatives or guardian of
1108 the incapacitated person, and the relative or guardian shall be
1109 entitled to appear and to be heard upon the issues. If the
1110 incapacitated party has a general guardian other than the party
1111 bringing the proceeding, the petition and summons shall be
1112 served upon the incapacitated party and the guardian; and the
1113 guardian shall defend and protect the interests of the
1114 incapacitated party. If the incapacitated party has no guardian
1115 other than the party bringing the proceeding, the court shall
1116 appoint a guardian ad litem to defend and protect the interests
1117 of the incapacitated party. However, in all dissolutions of
1118 marriage granted on the basis of incapacity, the court may
1119 require the petitioner to pay alimony pursuant to the provisions
1120 of s. 61.08.
1121 Section 15. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
1122 made by this act to section 61.14, Florida Statutes, in a
1123 reference thereto, paragraph (c) of subsection (10) of section
1124 409.2563, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
1125 409.2563 Administrative establishment of child support
1127 (10) JUDICIAL REVIEW, ENFORCEMENT, OR COURT ORDER
1128 SUPERSEDING ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT ORDER.—
1129 (c) A circuit court of this state, where venue is proper
1130 and the court has jurisdiction of the parties, may enter an
1131 order prospectively changing the support obligations established
1132 in an administrative support order, in which case the
1133 administrative support order is superseded and the court’s order
1134 shall govern future proceedings in the case. Any unpaid support
1135 owed under the superseded administrative support order may not
1136 be retroactively modified by the circuit court, except as
1137 provided by s. 61.14(1)(a), and remains enforceable by the
1138 department, by the obligee, or by the court. In all cases in
1139 which an administrative support order is superseded, the court
1140 shall determine the amount of any unpaid support owed under the
1141 administrative support order and shall include the amount as
1142 arrearage in its superseding order.
1143 Section 16. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
1144 made by this act to section 61.14, Florida Statutes, in a
1145 reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of section
1146 742.031, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
1147 742.031 Hearings; court orders for support, hospital
1148 expenses, and attorney’s fee.—
1150 (b) The modification of the temporary support order may be
1151 retroactive to the date of the initial entry of the temporary
1152 support order; to the date of filing of the initial petition for
1153 dissolution of marriage, petition for support, petition
1154 determining paternity, or supplemental petition for
1155 modification; or to a date prescribed in s. 61.14(1)(a) or s.
1156 61.30(11)(c) or (17), as applicable.
1157 Section 17. Sections 61.55-61.58, Florida Statutes, as
1158 created by this act, shall not take effect until 30 days after
1159 the Florida Supreme Court adopts rules of procedure and
1160 professional responsibility consistent with this act.
1161 Section 18. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
1162 act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2016.