Recently, Florida legislatures approved a bill to go to the governor that has some law makers back-pedaling. The alimony-reform bill has been bitterly debated in legislative committees and on social media among people who are recipients of alimony, payers of alimony and parents of children involved in a divorce.
The bill is intended to change the highly discretionary way in which alimony is awarded in Florida by providing a framework for judges to decide alimony payments, limit the duration of alimony to recipients, eliminate “lifetime” alimony and spell out specific circumstances under which alimony awards may be modified or terminated.
However, the bill also contains troublesome provisions such as a last-minute addition that eliminates guidelines for marriages that last more than 20 years in favor of simply equalizing income between long-married spouses. Another hotly debated item includes granting automatic 50-50 custody for children in divorce, widely viewed as putting the best interests of children second.
With all the controversy surrounding the bill, some lawmakers are hoping the governor will veto it despite the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section primarily writing it, lobbying for it and pushing to get it passed…apparently the complex issues surrounding marriage and family are more than they bargained for.
Source: Orlando Weekly, “Florida Bar Association says it no longer supports alimony-reform bill it helped write”, by Eric Sullivan, accessed March 16, 2016.