Reforms On Alimony Marching Forward

Reforms On Alimony Marching ForwardA refreshing effort to significantly change the alimony law of Florida is gradually gaining momentum. More and more lawmakers are heading into next half of 2015 session in this regard. R-Lakeland Senator Kelli Stargel,  sponsored bill was approved by Senate Judiciary Committee which puts a full stop on permanent alimony. It is aimed to create a formulaic approach to determine length and alimony amount. It is also designed to give rise to an arrangement of 50-50 children sharing.

The bill with same reforms is moving all over the house. It is sponsored by R-Melbourne, Ritch Workman and R-Lakeland Colleen Burton. Lawmakers are familiar with such legislation. This  legislature gave approval to alimony law in 2013 which was later vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott. It was opposed by plenty of the law advocates and by women groups.

However, some main differences this time can turn the alimony law more viable. Firstly, according to Stargel the recent legislation isn’t applicable retroactively to the settled divorce cases. Governor Scott had listed the provision of retroactivity as key reason for vetoing the legislation of 2013. It may bring unanticipated and unfair results to all the spouses that built their lives after divorce as per alimony law agreements.

According to Stargel, she didn’t use the bill of 2013 as introduction point for the fresh legislation. She has sought a full rewrite for alimony laws by associating with supporters and opponents of 2013 measure. Many opponents of this bill are presently supporting the stance of Stargel in the recent time. Elisha Roy represents the family law sector of the bar and pointed out that attorney’s group is mostly in favour of this bill. According to her, they’ve come to believe that alimony formula that takes into account marriage duration and income of both spouses is likely to bring some more consistency into divorce settlements.

Roy pointed out her main concern as the challenging presumption of child sharing to be equally categorized between spouses. However, this bill doesn’t allow the judges in deviating as per number of the factors. She expressed of being hopeful to reach a compromise. Still, some women groups have expressed disagreement with this legislation.

Two years ago, this bill was opposed by a lobbyist considering its impact upon the older females that didn’t work outside their homes with long term marriage termination. Lobbyist DeVane agreed upon this legislation being an improved version of 2013. She included the provisions such as rehabilitative alimony which pays for education and training for only those women who are aiming to go back to offices. She pointed out the dominated presence of ageism within the job sector.

Another aged woman paying a permanent alimony to spouse commented how this bill would be helpful to people like her. It would end the system and create one which brings the duration of marriage and couple’s income into consideration. Family law practitioners like Soto believes that the bill has evolved from being single sided as it was few years back.¬† They support the attempt to have more predictability into alimony settlements.

Image credit: zimmytws