Alimony Reform – Divorcing in Tampa Bay in 2019

For six years, the focus on alimony reform in Florida has been an issue that spouses who are divorced or
are divorcing in Tampa Bay have been keeping an eye on. In April, SB1596 died in legislation. Any
chance of alimony reform in Florida will have to wait until next year.

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This year, however, marked the new tax law for alimony and that had many couples who were divorcing in 2019 wondering how it would affect them. Since alimony is no longer tax deductible, it has opened the door to areas of negotiation within the terms of a divorce . Considering that alimony can no longer be deducted, divorce attorneys are advising their clients how alimony would best be negotiated to offset any losses. This is particularly true in cases where couples are opting for collaborative divorce or when they decide to settle their divorce by way of marital settlement agreements.


Can Alimony Terms and Amounts be Negotiated?

Yes. When couples divorce in Florida, all of the terms of their divorce can be negotiated through
mediation and negotiations. When couples come to an agreement, it is brought before a judge for a final
judgement. Unless the judge finds there is reason to deviate from the terms, a couple’s marital
settlement agreement will be signed. This is generally preferable when couples wish to avoid litigation.
If one spouse refuses to negotiate the terms and wishes to go to trial, the judge will determine if
alimony is appropriate, how much alimony will be awarded, what type of alimony will be awarded and
then the Federal Law on deducting alimony will apply. As explained here there are a few different
types of alimony that are awarded in Florida. Spouses who are looking at alimony will do well to hire a
seasoned Tampa alimony attorney who can protect their best interests by negotiating the terms of their
alimony and divorce settlement. It is important to note, that whether you are paying or receiving
alimony, reasonable terms are often terms that will enable a seamless transition to a post-divorce life. If
alimony is set too high or too low, the chance that you will end up back in court will increase. This is not
conducive to ensuring that both parties exit the marriage with terms that each can live with and abide

The Battle for Reform

The battle for alimony reform in Florida will likely continue in 2020. But unless and until it is reformed,
Florida Law is clear on how alimony can be awarded. It is important that your Tampa divorce attorney
has comprehensive knowledge of Florida Alimony & Divorce Law and is experienced in the area of
negotiating terms in marital settlement agreements as well as litigating alimony matters before the
court. If you are seeking to modify your alimony in Tampa Bay, please note that there must be an
unexpected and permanent and substantial change in circumstance to do so. If you believe this is this
case, please contact Nilo J Sanchez & Associates for sound, legal counsel to move forward with an
alimony modification under the existing Florida Alimony and Divorce Laws.
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Nilo J Sanchez & Associates has over 30 years of experience as a Tampa divorce and family law attorney. Our family law firm represents clients in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco County, FL.
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