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West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney > Blog > Alimony > Alimony Changes and Net Income

Alimony Changes and Net Income


In 2023, state law regarding alimony was reformed. Previously, alimony decisions were largely at the discretion of the judge, who would consider various factors to decide on the amount and duration of support. The new laws aim to standardize these decisions, so permanent alimony has been eliminated and reviewing net income is now part of the process.

Talk to a West Palm Beach family attorney about your finances as you separate and divorce. For example, you will want to review the 35% rule that affects the amount of alimony one can receive. Understanding these changes is crucial for anyone involved in divorce proceedings, and consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help ensure you navigate these new rules effectively.

Net Income Analysis

One of the critical aspects of the new alimony laws is the emphasis on net income rather than gross income. Net income is the income remaining after deducting taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, health insurance premiums, and other obligatory deductions. This shift ensures that alimony is based on the actual available income of the paying spouse, providing a fairer assessment of what they can reasonably afford.

To accurately determine net finances, the following documentation is typically required to prove net incomes.

  • Tax returns. Thorough tax returns for the past few years are required in order for there to be a comprehensive view of income and deductions.
  • Pay stubs. Recent pay stubs show current income levels and include important deductions, such as financial holdings for taxes and health insurance.
  • Bank statements. These provide additional insights into regular monthly income and standard outgoing expenses.
  • Retirement contributions. Documentation of mandatory retirement contributions is necessary to adjust gross income to net income accurately.
  • Health insurance premiums. Proof of health insurance premiums is another data point that helps in determining net income.

After this net number has been reached, the new legislation has a formulaic approach to calculating alimony. This formula aims to create a more standardized and predictable method for determining alimony payments, with the alimony amount typically set at 35% of the difference between the spouses’ net incomes.

How an Attorney Can Help

Navigating the complexities of the new alimony rules can be challenging without professional guidance. A knowledgeable family lawyer can explain the recent changes in alimony laws and talk to you about how they apply to your specific situation. They can also help you identify and document all relevant income and deductions, ensuring an accurate net income calculation.

When you are ready to move forward with the process of obtaining spousal support, a West Palm Beach family attorney can help you organize and present evidence convincingly. By accurately documenting your net income and presenting a strong case, you can achieve a fair and equitable alimony arrangement that aligns with the updated legal standards.

Were you recently told that alimony laws have changed? Work with the experienced family lawyers at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates to be sure you comprehend these new rules and you are adequately prepared to seek or respond to an alimony request. Schedule your confidential consultation today.

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