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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > Florida’s New Alimony Laws Are A Rude Awakening For Divorced Seniors

Florida’s New Alimony Laws Are A Rude Awakening For Divorced Seniors


Every divorced person should rewrite his or her estate plan, but most of them do not, at least not until a serious health problem or a serious remarriage prospect appears.  While it would be lovely to approach your estate plan with an abundance mindset, a lot of people’s motivation to get started on their estate plans is fear, and Florida’s new alimony reform law has given divorced seniors much to fear.  SB 1416, which became law this summer, does not affect any existing marital settlement agreements (MSAs), but it makes it impossible for any couples who divorce in the future to agree to permanent alimony or for Florida courts to order a former spouse to pay periodic alimony on a permanent basis.  This means that, if your spouse has recently left you, then you will have to be even more resourceful than your older counterparts about making your share of the marital property sustain you in your old age.  You should, of course, discuss these matters in detail with your family law attorney, but a Tampa estate planning lawyer also has a role in shaping a brighter future for you.

When the Law Enables Your Ex-Spouse to Act Like a Super Villain, Your Estate Plan Is Your Superpower

Florida’s new alimony laws are a real bummer for people who were financially dependent on their spouses during their marriages, but those who get divorced late in life get the worst of it.  The bad news is that the definition of “supportive relationship” just got broader.  In the old days, your ex could stop paying alimony if you moved in with a romantic partner or were otherwise in such a serious relationship that you and your new partner mingled your finances.  Under the new rules, “supportive relationship” means that you have anyone in your life that helps ease your financial burden, such as if you move in with a relative or a roommate, your ex can use this as an excuse to stop paying alimony.  By this logic, if Ray and Peter of the movie Shut Up, Little Man had been alimony recipients, their ex-spouses could have cut them off financially, despite that they were roommates who barely tolerated each other.

Likewise, in the old days, courts would order permanent alimony when it was a choice between permanent alimony and poverty, but now it is a choice between poverty and poverty.  This might mean that your health, not your finances, dictate your decisions about when to retire.  It may also mean that entering a nursing home as a Medicaid beneficiary is a more likely scenario.  An estate planning lawyer can help you plan for a modest retirement and try to find an affordable long-term care insurance plan for you.

Contact David Toback About Estate Planning After Gray Divorce

A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you rewrite your estate plan if a late in life divorce upended your plans.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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