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Key Votes

SB 718 - Amends Alimony Provisions - Key Vote

Florida Key Votes

John Thrasher voted Yea (Passage) on this Legislation.

Read statements John Thrasher made in this general time period.

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Family

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Stage Details

Legislation - Vetoed (Executive) -

Title: Amends Alimony Provisions

Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (85-31) - (Key vote)

Title: Amends Alimony Provisions

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends alimony provisions, effective July 1, 2013.

Highlights:
  • Prohibits a court from granting an award of permanent alimony to an individual (Sec. 3). 
  • Requires an individual requesting alimony to meet the burden of proof of demonstrating a need for alimony and that the other individual has the ability to pay alimony (Sec. 3).
  • Limits the amount of alimony that is authorized to be awarded to a spouse to a percentage of the payer’s monthly income at the following rates (Sec. 3):
    • A rate of 25 percent for a “short-term marriage;”
    • A rate of 35 percent for a “mid-term marriage;” and
    • A rate of 38 percent for a “long-term marriage.”
  • Defines “short-term marriage,” “mid-term marriage,” and “long-term marriage” as having the following durations (Sec. 3):
    • A duration equal to or less than 11 years for short-term marriages;
    • A duration between 11 and 20 years for mid-term marriages; and
    • A duration more than 20 years for long-term marriages.
  • Specifies that there will be a presumption against alimony for a short-term marriage, no presumption for a mid-term marriage, and a presumption in favor of alimony for a long-term marriage, with the following standards of evidence required to overcome these presumptions (Sec. 3):
    • An individual shows “clear and convincing evidence” that alimony is needed after a short-term marriage;
    • An individual shows “a preponderance of evidence” that alimony is needed after a mid-term marriage; or
    • An individual shows “clear and convincing evidence” that alimony is not needed after a long-term marriage.
  • Prohibits the length of durational alimony from exceeding half the length of the marriage, unless the individual seeking alimony proves the need for a longer award by a “preponderance of evidence” (Sec. 3).
  • Requires a court to consider an individual’s “needs and necessities of life” when calculating alimony, with the presumption that both individuals will have a lower standard of living after the marriage (Sec. 3).
  • Authorizes the payer to apply to terminate or modify his or her alimony payments upon retirement provided that he or she has met certain conditions including, but not limited to, reaching a “reasonable” retirement age for their profession, as determined by the court (Sec. 7).
  • Specifies that equal time-sharing with a minor child by both parents is in the best interest of the child, except in certain instances including, but not limited to, the following circumstances (Sec. 5):
    • The court finds that the safety, well-being, or health of the child would be endangered;
    • The court finds that a parent is incarcerated; or
    • The court finds that the distance between the 2 parental households makes equal time-sharing impractical.
  • Specifies that the provisions of this bill regarding alimony, but not custody agreements, apply retroactively to divorce agreements entered before July 1, 2013 (Secs. 6 & 10).
Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) (29-11) - (Key vote)

Title: Amends Alimony Provisions

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends alimony provisions, effective July 1, 2013.

Highlights:
  • Prohibits a court from granting an award of permanent alimony to an individual (Sec. 3). 
  • Requires an individual requesting alimony to meet the burden of proof of demonstrating a need for alimony and that the other individual has the ability to pay alimony (Sec. 3).
  • Limits the amount of alimony that is authorized to be awarded to a spouse to a percentage of the payer’s monthly income at the following rates (Sec. 3):
    • A rate of 25 percent for a “short-term marriage;”
    • A rate of 35 percent for a “mid-term marriage;” and
    • A rate of 38 percent for a “long-term marriage.”
  • Defines “short-term marriage,” “mid-term marriage,” and “long-term marriage” as having the following durations (Sec. 3):
    • A duration equal to or less than 11 years for short-term marriages;
    • A duration between 11 and 20 years for mid-term marriages; and
    • A duration more than 20 years for long-term marriages.
  • Specifies that there will be a presumption against alimony for a short-term marriage, no presumption for a mid-term marriage, and a presumption in favor of alimony for a long-term marriage, with the following standards of evidence required to overcome these presumptions (Sec. 3):
    • An individual shows “clear and convincing evidence” that alimony is needed after a short-term marriage;
    • An individual shows “a preponderance of evidence” that alimony is needed after a mid-term marriage; or
    • An individual shows “clear and convincing evidence” that alimony is not needed after a long-term marriage.
  • Prohibits the length of durational alimony from exceeding half the length of the marriage, unless the individual seeking alimony proves the need for a longer award by a “preponderance of evidence” (Sec. 3).
  • Requires a court to consider an individual’s “needs and necessities of life” when calculating alimony, with the presumption that both individuals will have a lower standard of living after the marriage (Sec. 3).
  • Authorizes the payer to apply to terminate or modify his or her alimony payments upon retirement provided that he or she has met certain conditions including, but not limited to, reaching a “reasonable” retirement age for their profession, as determined by the court (Sec. 7).
  • Specifies that equal time-sharing with a minor child by both parents is in the best interest of the child, except in certain instances including, but not limited to, the following circumstances (Sec. 5):
    • The court finds that the safety, well-being, or health of the child would be endangered;
    • The court finds that a parent is incarcerated; or
    • The court finds that the distance between the 2 parental households makes equal time-sharing impractical.
  • Specifies that the provisions of this bill regarding alimony, but not custody agreements, apply retroactively to divorce agreements entered before July 1, 2013 (Secs. 6 & 10).
Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Amends Alimony Provisions

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