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Alimony bill fails to make it onto Florida's legislative session

Alimony reform advocates and The Florida Bar have joined forces and reached accord regarding overhauling the state's alimony system. However, no proposals will make it onto 2017's legislative session.

The state senate chairman for the Children, Families and Elder Affairs announced that the bill isn't scheduled for a hearing during this year's legislative session, claiming there were "more pressing issues" for the legislature to take up to protect "the safety and welfare of children."

The two groups have had an adversarial relationship for a number of years over the matter of alimony for divorced spouses. This most recent proposal waived permanent alimony, with judicial discretion to deviate from the formula.

The sticking point last year centered around an amendment that included the premise that the courts approve child-sharing plans that equally split minors' time between both parents.

In the last four years, Gov. Scott has twice vetoed legislative attempts to revamp Florida's alimony laws.

Last year's proposal had designed the formula, which took into consideration both parties' incomes and the duration of the marriage, for the courts to use when determining the amount (if any) of alimony.

Prior to that gubernatorial veto, three years prior, Gov. Scott failed to sign off on a proposal to rewrite the laws dealing with alimony because it contained a retroactive clause that would adversely affect older women who stayed home to rear the children and take care of the house.

By separating the two issues — alimony and the matters affecting the children — the two factions appear to have achieved consensus, even if it must wait until at least 2018 to proceed.

If you have questions about divorce or alimony, there's no need to wait. A Florida family law attorney can address your concerns and initiate legal action on your behalf.

Source: Naples Herald, "No Love This Year for Passidomo’s Alimony Bill," April 01, 2017

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