Alimony Reform

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In 2014, the current alimony provisions will change if the Senate Bill 718 passes.  This bill will impact payors and payees of alimony, therefore it is important that spouses become familiar with the bill.  The key points of this bill are listed below:

  • The time frames defining the length of the marriage will change. A “long term- marriage” will be measured as 20 years or more, a “mid-term marriage” will be measured as more than 10 years but less than 20 years, and a “short-term marriage” will be measured as 10 years or less.
  • Permanent alimony will be abolished. The types of alimony that will remain are bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational. Bridge-the gap and rehabilitative alimony will be prioritized over any other type of alimony.
  • Alimony will automatically terminate when the payor reaches normal retirement age for social security retirement benefits, unless the payee proves by clear and convincing evidence that the need for alimony continues to exist and the court determines the payor continues to have the ability to pay.
  • The court will no longer consider “the standard of living established during the marriage” as a factor to determine an award of alimony. The court will now consider the net income and standard of living available to each party after the application of the alimony award.
  • The amount of award of durational alimony may not exceed 50 percent of the length of the marriage.
  • There is a rebuttable presumption against awarding alimony in a short-term marriage, there is no presumption in favor of either party to an award of alimony in a mid-term marriage, and there is a rebuttable presumption in favor of awarding alimony in a long term marriage.