Florida Alimony Reform

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Post by Skitz » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:27 pm

Where Do We Go From Here

Greetings!

While we were hoping for change our first year out of the gates, the reality will probably be alimony reform in Florida will be a multi year project. HB 549 took a lot of work from Rep. Workman, other legislators and Tallahassee support, and you. The fact that we almost passed the bill sends a powerful message to the FL Family Bar.

Even if the HB 549 would have passed, we would still be continuing the movement for fair alimony laws. HB 549 was a compromise. But it was a step in the right direction and would have given hope to thousands of alimony payers.

We tried to work with the FL Bar, and will continue to try to work with them, but we will not be bullied by them. Our goal is simple. Meaningful Alimony Reform in Florida, which includes a reasonable transition to being single and self-supporting for the alimony recipient.

The "need" and "ability to pay" approach is flawed for many reasons. The spouse in need does not have to make any attempt to be self supporting. There is no requirement for education, training, or employment. There is no incentive not to be needy.

We are FOR Rehabilitative and Supportive Transitional Alimony. Following divorce, division of the assets, custody, and child support, there need be a plan for self-support for the alimony recipient. Remarriage is also an option. Today's alimony laws, however, discourage marriage or re-marriage.

It should be known that FAR is NOT going away, and will continue to work for better alimony laws, whatever it takes.

What are our next steps?

1. Grow the FAR organization. There is power in numbers. If over 90% of the people you talk to think Florida's current alimony laws are outdated, it's time to sign them up. Join the Florida Alimony Reform Movement! As was demonstrated this last week, we can email important information about alimony reform to you quickly. It's simple and Free.

Make it a habit to ask friends and family to Join The FAR Movement. We need thousands of members to make a large enough voice to be heard by our legislators and the media. A Reasonable end to a broken relationship is what we are looking for, without the unnecessary emotional, financial, and societal issues created with current law.

2. Get to know YOUR Legislators. Your legislators respond much better to their constituents than FL citizens outside of their district. The legislative assistant(s) and secretaries are just as important and sometimes have more time to learn the details of the issues, then tell their legislator. Help them understand the truth behind current alimony law.

3. Donate. This year we would like to place billboards, newspaper ads, FAR Membership Events, and at least 2 statewide meetings. All of these things cost money. Whatever you can do to help is always appreciated. We take your donations seriously and are very careful and watchful with your money. We can't make meaningful alimony reform happen without money. Look who we're up against!

4. Events. We will hold membership drive events throughout the state. As we grow, we will have FAR Chapters around the state. We will have at least 2 statewide events or rallies for additional membership growth and training. When we have the dates and locations, we will let you know.

Again, FAR is NOT going away. Alimony Reform WILL happen in Florida. YOUR INVOLVEMENT is necessary.


The Media Still Hot On Alimony Reform

The media continues to cover the issue of Alimony Reform and its reasons for not passing the Senate. Please check out The Ledger article, then Comment and Forward the article to friends, family, co-workers, and others interested in Florida's Laws. You know the routine. We can't let up!

The CNN Report by Steve Hitner could use some comments as well. Steve Hitner was the driving force behind Massachusetts Alimony Reform Movement that made a big change in Mass Alimony Laws. The chances are if someone else has done it, it can be done!

Go to the ABA Journal, copy the comments, and bring them with you to your legislators when you visit them. We can begin visiting our legislators within the next few weeks. The legislators are still in Tallahassee now, but they need to hear from you when they get home. They represent YOU. Did you follow their actions or votes?

It's important for your legislators to know YOU are watching them. Their comments and votes are accountable to YOU, their constituent. If they were in the 83 yea House votes, contact them and thank them. If they were in the 30 nay House votes, you may want to contact them and ask why. The only reason for voting against it is either a lack of understanding of the issue or a strong nudge from the Florida Family Bar. We are looking for a Fair Resolution to a No-Fault Divorce. We believe in equal opportunity.


Donations Needed!dollars

Will you help us end your lifetime alimony?
Like it or not, it takes money to change a law in Florida. We appreciate any assistance you can give us. This is your opportunity to help update Florida's alimony laws.

We are volunteers, with jobs, bills, and permanent alimony payments. Please understand your contributions are helping end a debt that will Never Go Away. Ending lifetime alimony would be one of the wisest investments a permanent alimony payer could ever make.

If we pool our resources we can accomplish many things. Without the financial support, financial relief will be delayed. The process will take time. Thank you for making one time Donations and a Special Thank You for Monthly Donations. Thank You!
Donate Here

(Until our alimony laws are changed, this will be a regular request and need. Thank You.)


Thank You For Keeping The Movement Going!Thank You

We made our presence known the the State Legislators and the Media. It's a presence that we do not want to lose. We have to keep things going. There is not time to rest yet.

As we grow the FAR State Chapters, we will have greater visibility and a bigger voice. It is a NUMBERS GAME. Once we have the Numbers of Florida Citizens needed to be clearly heard by our legislators, we will make rapid progress with meaningful alimony reform.

The quicker we get 10-20,000 members, the quicker the legislators will HAVE to listen to us. Please Join The Florida Alimony Reform Movement, then help build our Alimony Army by having your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors join. They need an alimony education, before they end up in Alimony Court.

IF WE LET UP, WE LOSE!
(We Will NOT Let Up!)
http://www.floridaalimonyreform.com/


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Post by Skitz » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:38 pm

Moving Forward--Gaining Respect

Greetings! ,

As I stated in my previous Constant Contact, we at FAR are committed to continue working hard to achieve real alimony reform in our great state of Florida. Last year we were thrown right into the fire and were forced to hit the ground running. However, even with the limited time we had, we accomplished a tremendous amount. During this off-session time, we will maintain our drive and continue on that path. As we continue to grow, it has become apparent that we need to organize in a way that streamlines our approach. We do not want to become the bureaucracy that many of us are fighting against, but instead we want to be able to focus our efforts in the areas that will provide the most benefit to our members and cause. Many of you have emailed me asking how you can get more involved. Well, now is your chance.

Our Core group has put together a variety of committees that will help us focus on the areas necessary for reform. The committee's are: Education; Events and Fundraising; Second Wives Club; Legislative Task Force; and Advertising. Each one of these committees has a core group member who is the Chairperson of that committee and who will be sharing the information discussed in that committee with the other core group members for possible implementation. Committee leaders, some of whom are already established, will help organize, direct, and collaborate on ideas with committee members and then report back the results to the committed Chair. We are hoping to have enough committee members to have a good dialog about issues, but not so many where opposing opinions prevent progress. It will be left to the committee leader to decide the right amount of committee members.

Briefly, I will describe the responsibilities of each committee; Education: Will be responsible for collecting and analyzing information on alimony topics to help teach the Legislators and the Florida Bar the reason why reform is necessary; Events and Fundraising: Will be responsible for putting together outings and meetings where our members can join together for fellowship and fun, as well as for greeting new members and core leaders, face to face, to understand the issues surrounding our cause. We will invite the media to some of these events as well; Second Wives Club: This will be a group of women who are associated with men who are currently paying alimony. We feel that women's rights are also being abused by the current alimony law and what better way to bring this information out to the public than to have women tell their own stories of how the alimony laws affect them; Legislative Task Force: This committee will help organize our members into different Legislative (Senate) districts and work on educating the Legislators in those districts about the need for alimony reform; Advertising: This committee will work to market FAR to the general public, Legislators, and Florida BAR in the most highly visible, most cost effective way possible. Our goal is to grow our membership and become an organization that has credibility, consultative, and political power with the Legislators and the Florida BAR.

If you have any expertise in any of these specific areas, now is the time to Volunteer. Please send an email to info@FloridaAlimonyReform.com and we will forward your email to the appropriate Core team member or Committee Leader. Someone will get back in touch with you shortly. In addition to these Committees, I will be working with our Media Consultant to continually get us involved with network, newspaper, and radio events to keep alimony reform at the forefront of the public view. I will also be working with pro-alimony reform Attorney Advisors who recognize the need for reform and who have offered their assistance by helping to draft the necessary language that will be accepted by FAR, the Legislators, as well as the BAR. It's nice knowing that we aren't alone in our quest, and that there are Attorneys who really understand what is happening and who are now volunteering to help. By being organized, we will make progress in our quest for alimony reform. Thank you in advance for your dedication and time devoted to our cause.

On a more personal note, it has come to my attention that there are a few individuals from an alimony reform blogging group who seem to have other ideas as to how alimony reform should occur here in Florida. They have been insulting with their words, radical in their approach, and in my opinion, offer no real structure or solution for real reform. These same individuals claim to have knowledge of how the political system here in Florida works, when they have never been invited to work among the professionals within that system, specifically because of their radical approach. Rather than waste time answering the false accusations and low class rumors being spread by these troubled individuals, I would ask that our membership stay on course, continue to take the high road with FAR, and not be confused by misinformation. As with any information, please know the source from which it comes, and the credibility of that source. Always ask yourself how you would behave in a particular situation, and then whether or not you would expect to get the results you desire by behaving that way? What is it that we really want to accomplish? This past year we've learned a great deal. While we may be forced to play by the (misguided) rules of others, we can certainly influence those rules if we gain their respect. With your help, we will do just that and begin to achieve the alimony reform we all deserve.

Thank you.

Remember, if we let up, we lose.

Sincerely,

Alan Frisher, Co-Director
Licensed Financial Advisor, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)
Florida Alimony Reform
352-577-5706
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Post by Skitz » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:44 pm

Below is the latest newsletter from Florida Alimony Reform.
If you have the time you can always visit their Web site for updates.
http://floridaalimonyreform.com/

Also, it looks like their newspaper poll is still active. If you have not voted there yet you can still do so at this link:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl ... 3792.story
The Chair of FL Family Bar Shows
The "Family" Bar's True Colors

Weekly Newsletter
Greetings!

You know you're making progress when the Family Bar has to hire a

public relations firm. This is an excerpt from their newsletter, written by David Manz, the Chair of the Family Bar:

"With the approval of the Executive Council, we have hired a public relations firm to address negative statements regarding the Family Law Section's position on alimony reform. Erin VanSickle of Capital Energy Communications, LLC will also assist us in publicity regarding the current state of alimony in Florida and our ongoing attempts to educate Floridians about alimony and enlighten those regarding misrepresentations and exaggerations being spread by the supporters of Florida Alimony Reform (FAR). Check out my article I wrote on behalf of the Family Law Section entitled "Preserving Alimony Laws is Good for Families and Taxpayers."

We expect the issue of alimony reform to resurface and are already planning our strategy to address it carefully. "

Alan Frisher, FAR's spokesperson, has responded to Mr. Manz's "My Turn" viewpoint" in the Florida Voice, but Florida Voice has not yet posted Alan's response. You can read it on the FAR website by clicking here.

This article has helped identify directly what the Chair of the Florida Family Bar believes. The comments those affected by alimony already posted in TheLedger.com totally blast Mr. Manz's words. Click Here to read the article in FloridaView, then Click Here to write a letter to the editor. The Letter To The Editor link is hard to find.

SAVE this email in your FAR email folder. Set up a folder. It will make it easier to keep track of what's happening, where we've been, and how you can help.

The following is one of the comments, made by Mark Elias, a FAR member. It speaks to the heart of who we are. This is in reference to Mr. Manz comments in an earlier article titled "Lawmakers Preserved Alimony" in TheLedger.com.

"He makes a final critical mistake in his claim that Florida Alimony Reform members are a small, one-sided group of Floridians. On the contrary, we are your fathers and mothers. We are your neighbors. Your brothers and sisters. Your stepmothers and stepfathers. The doctor down the street. The Alzheimer patient who is unable to work but still required to pay, permanently. We are salesmen and women. Firefighters and Police Officers. Airline pilots and flight attendants. We are business owners, and employees. We are journalists, both male and female. In fact, look around you. I am certain there are many in the newsroom that fit right in. There are even lawyers who are members. And many others who support loved ones who are saddled with an unjust burden."

Mark Elias speaks for many of us. Please let YOUR Voices Be Heard. There is Power In Numbers!

If you wish to write a Letter To the Editor for the Florida Voice, please do so, or make a comment in The Ledger. The way we will change Florida's anti-marriage, anti-family alimony laws is speak up at every opportunity we have. FAR is not going away, and the FL Bar knows it.

Join in the Florida Alimony Reform Movement. It's time to speak up and expose the consequences of divorce and alimony laws in Florida.

Read below to see what committee is best for you. If YOU want to see our laws change, YOU have to get involved!

FAR Committees
To better organize our efforts, we now have 6 Committees:

Legislative Task Force

Education

Second Wives Club

Advertising

Events

Fundraising - IMPORTANT

Do we have a volunteer or possibly a paid position (based on what is raised) to help work our Fundraising committee?

Without donations, we won't be able to continue to fight the FL Bar.

We are building committees with volunteers. Look at the committees and see where you can help. Most correspondence between committee members will be email and conference calls. We will keep travel to a minimum.

The quicker we get these committees up and functional, the quicker we can make a bigger impact. If we split the work between 5-10 people in a committee, it will take less time. Help Us Help You. Get Involved!!

We also have a Group of Attorneys (some who pay permanent alimony) who are Pro-Alimony Reform and are helping our cause. Many times these attorneys would rather work behind the scenes. They have to deal with the FL Bar. We honor their request and thank them for their contributions.

EmailFAR and we will put you in touch with the right people.

Thanks!

How Do We Expose the Family Bar?
By Telling The Truth!!!

We need to let people know what is truly happening with Florida's Alimony System. Press Releases are sent out to get picked up by various media organizations throughout our country. FAR has been using press releases as one avenue for spreading the alimony reform message. Press Releases work.

Here is FAR's response, through Press Releases, to Mr. Manz's comments.

Florida Alimony Reform Group Says Laws Make a Mockery of Marriage.
Marketwatch.com

StreetInsidercom Florida Alimony Reform Group Says Laws Make a Mockery of Marriage.
streetinsider.com

Florida Alimony Reform Group Says Laws Make a Mockery of Marriage.
Globenewswire.com

Florida Alimony Reform Group Says Laws Make a Mockery of Marriage.
finance.yahoo.com

We are challenging those who think everything is fine.
It's NOT. And Florida's citizens need to understand what is happening to honest, law abiding citizens under Florida's current out-dated, anti-family alimony laws!

Second Wives Club Beginning!

I am pleased to announce the start up of the Florida Second Wives (and Partners) Club. This group is especially important in light of recent quotes by David Manz, chair of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar who has stated that the members Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) are a "small, one-sided group of Floridians" or a "few angry men". For all of us who are either married to, engaged to, living with, or dating a permanent alimony payer, we know first hand and all too well that the devastating effects of permanent alimony are far reaching and profound. Some of us have witnessed firsthand how our incomes have increased our husband's alimony obligation, while others of us won't marry our significant others for fear that our hard earned income and assets could be touched by an ex-spouse.

In Massachusetts, where alimony reform was signed into law this past September, the Second Wives Club was instrumental in their success. The Florida Second Wives Club will be as strong, if not stronger, and very vocal in order to educate the world as to our plight. The world will see how permanent alimony affects all citizens, not just a few angry men.

While alimony is gender neutral, 95% of alimony is paid to women, so the Second Wives Club will have large numbers because many women date and want to marry a divorced man. In 1980, more than 30 years ago, New York State changed its alimony laws and decided that the purpose of alimony is to give the dependent spouse a bridge to make the transition to independence. Those who receive permanent alimony in Florida and elsewhere appear to be the only group of able-bodied people in the country who have no obligation to ever become self-supporting. Even welfare recipients are given several years of assistance and set free. Alimony was intended for women whose husbands left them when women had few career opportunities. Today, in a bizarre twist, the new wives of lifetime alimony payers are expected to use their economic power to support an ex-spouse who is given a free pass at self-sufficiency.

Please email your information to me at secondwivesclubfl@gmail.com. All information will be kept confidential.
Join the FL Second Wives Club if your spouse or fiance is a lifetime alimony payer by clicking here.


Thank you.

--
Deborah Leff-Israel
Committee Leader - Florida Second Wives Club
secondwivesclubfl@gmail.com
"The voice of the female casualties of permanent alimony."

Florida Alimony Reform
www.floridaalimonyreform.com
"Remember, if we let up, we lose!"

Divorce Expo in NYCWeddingCakeCouple
The Divorce Expo, as reported in the Huffington Post, appears to be a good step in moving on with your life following divorce. Many people are fearful and just don't know what to do.

This Expo gives people, mainly women, the plans for moving on with their lives. It's pro-marriage, so you know they are anti-lifetime alimony. This is a boost the marriage industry has needed. Wouldn't you like to see your ex-spouse happily married? Most people would. It makes for a better society!

Groups that promote marriage we support. If you hear of an expo or seminar being held to help people move on with their lives following divorce, financially and emotionally, please let us know. FAR is pro-marriage. It should always be Your Choice in the USA!

Advertising Committee: Billboards
Billboard

We are currently collecting data for determining the best locations, terms, and messages for FAR Billboards.

A simple message that might get attention is:

DON'T GET DIVORCED IN FLORIDA
FloridaAlimonyReform.com

Give us your ideas.

If you want a Billboard in your area, let us know. We can help locate other FAR members in your area. Together, we can make billboards affordable for everyone.

If you have 5-10 FAR members in your general area, you may be able to "Adopt A Billboard." Everyday you see your billboard, you know thousands of motorists, most of who are married, and 50% who are or will be divorced, can learn about Florida's Alimony Laws.

The sooner you notify us, the sooner we can get moving on YOUR Billboard. Please emails us at Info@FloridaAlimonyReform.com.
Attorneys Still Wanted

There is a growing number of attorneys frustrated with the direction and goals of the Florida Family Bar. They have heard the words of Mr. Manz, the chair of the Family Bar and reject his perception that permanent alimony is okay, and that our laws are among the most progressive in the nation.

We understand attorneys still have to deal with the FL Bar, and completely support you in staying behind the scenes. Your expertise and knowledge is very helpful in a strategic and effective approach to Meaningful Alimony Reform (not the watered down version we have been offered in the past)

If you are an attorney, or know one who would like to help us with Meaningful Alimony Reform with FAR, please contact us!

Thanks!

Together - We can make it happen!
If We Let Up, We Lose!

Thank You for your continued commitment to updating Florida's archaic, anti-family, outdated alimony laws. It is 2012 and time to bring our laws into today's world. Leave it to Beaver has been replaced by the Modern Family. It's a different world.

Cooperation creates Harmony. It expedites progress and makes your efforts fulfilling. TEAMWORK will give us Faster Results!

As always, we appreciate your financial contributions. You can see the cost of billboard advertising. We need much more public awareness of Florida's Alimony Laws.

If you don't have much time to donate, please consider making a financial commitment to help end Lifetime Alimony, and equalize the playing field. Contribute Here
Big News Coming Soon

Much continues to happen with alimony reform. We are continuing to grow FAR and our contribution to helping transition from married to single be as smooth as possible, for everyone, especially the children. Thanks for joining the Florida Alimony Reform Movement!

March 31, 2012
Forward this email to your friends, family, and co-workers NOW!!

They need an Alimony Education and we need a
BIG Alimony Army

Join the Florida Alimony Reform Movement
Join Our Mailing List

Social Media Power

LIKE us on FaceBook
and
Join Us On Twitter

Facebook and Twitter Icons are located on the FAR Home page on top right side.
Help grow our forces.
Florida Alimony Reform
Info@FloridaAlimonyReform.com

352-577-5706
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Post by Skitz » Sat May 19, 2012 12:10 am

Florida Second Wives Suffer Sticker Shock as More Women Are Forced to Shell Out Big Bucks in Alimony Payments

ORLANDO, Fla., May 17, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- More moms than ever are paying child support and alimony to their former husbands according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In a new survey, the AAML states that more than half of all divorce attorneys have noticed a spike in the number of women paying alimony and child support to their ex-husbands in the past three years. Why is that? This change has occurred because 23% of all wives earn more income than their husband, and women now hold 51% of all managerial and professional professions........
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/florid ... 2012-05-17

(click for full text)

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Post by Skitz » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:06 am

'Second wives' activist fights lifelong alimony

By Donna Gehrke-White, Sun Sentinel
4:27 p.m. EDT, July 14, 2012

Debbie Leff Israel believes in sharing — but not to the point of turning over part of her paycheck to her fiancé's former wife.

That's why the Weston woman says she has held off marrying her beloved: she doesn't want to financially support his ex-wife.

"The current Florida laws stand in the way of me being happily married," she wrote on the Florida Alimony Reform website to explain why she has become an activist fighting permanent alimony — what her fiancé has been ordered to pay, even in his retirement.

Israel, who teaches math at Broward College, helped start the Florida Second Wives Club as a way to fight what she considers the unfairness of judges' giving lifetime alimony to some first wives — and then a second wife's income sometimes being used to support the first.

"Instead of enjoying a happy marriage," she recently wrote on floridaalimonyreform.com "I feel sad and frustrated. I am a mathematics professor, so I suppose my brain is wired for balance. I do not see balance in a situation where laws that are supposedly intended to help families are actually preventing a new, happy family from fully and legally materializing."..............................
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl ... 2656.story
(click for full text)
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Post by Skitz » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:38 pm

Alimony Reform Advocates Prepare For Legislative Battle Agenda to be Unveiled at Tampa Town Hall Meeting

TAMPA, Fla., Oct 10, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- According to FAR, divorce is difficult enough: It's tough on spouses and on the kids. Making it even more problematic are Florida's draconian, permanent alimony laws. Former spouses should not come out of a bad marriage only to find themselves financially tied to their exes for the rest of their life.

While alimony laws were meant to help former spouses who were incapable of being financially independent, they also were created when women were viewed as the "weaker sex" and many did not work, FAR claims.

While times have changed, laws governing divorce have failed to keep up. There is a nationwide movement to amend those laws. Tavaras, Fla.-based Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) is leading the charge. It has been conducting town hall meetings statewide to educate the public about the need for reform. FAR's efforts will culminate on Nov. 10 with a Statewide Town Hall meeting at the Embassy Suites in Tampa, Fla. (10220 Palm River Road, Tampa, Fla. 33619). FAR Leadership will be in attendance, and State Representative Peter Nehr (R-Dist 48 ) will be speaking on behalf of alimony reform.............................
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alimon ... 2012-10-10
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:54 pm

Greetings! I hope you are finding the new v.3.0.11 of the BBS is working OK for you. If not, please contact me.

Florida Alimony reform is a strong and well organized group that came this >< close to getting a reform bill passed in Florida this year. The effort has made them stronger and they will be back on the legislative calendar next year if all goes well.

FAR has just published a request for donations to help further their cause. It is my belief that success in Florida will enhance the chances for the success of alimony reform in many other states as well, just as successful alimony reform in Massachusetts has.

If your own state already has an alimony reform effort going on try to support that effort with donations if you are able. If not, consider making a donation to the Florida group. When they finally succeed you can ask for their support in return when your home state follows in their footsteps.

http://www.floridaalimonyreform.com/ple ... dium=email


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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:07 pm

Advocacy group lines up sponsors for new alimony reform bill

South Florida Business Journal by Paul Brinkmann, Reporter
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 4:53pm EST

Florida alimony reform advocates said they found sponsors in the legislature who intend to reintroduce a bill in Tallahassee to update the state’s alimony laws.

The sponsors are Rep. Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne) in the House and Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) in the Senate. The bill passed the house last year by a large margin but stalled in the Senate. Workman was the House sponsor last year.

"This is not an anti-alimony, anti-spouse or anti-woman bill. This is a bill that simply clarifies and codifies the law to make sure alimony is fair to all involved," Workman said in a news release. "I don't hate alimony. I hate the abuse of it and this bill prohibits the abuse of it.”........................
http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida ... s-for.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:10 pm

As expected, the new alimony legislation in Florida is being introduced in both the senate and house. Good news!
Go get 'em FAR !
From TheLedger.com
Polk Politics

Stargel To File Alimony Reform Bill
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 8:51 by Bill Rufty

Never one to shun controversial issues when she was in the Florida House, new Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said she is planning to file a bill that would reform statutes governing alimony payments.

It would move away from alimony as a permanent lifetime payment to a durational payment, she said. It would also be a defined amount based on a formula that averages incomes for both separating spouses.

Her proposed bill would change the permanent payments and would reduce the amount an ex-spouse would pay at retirement if retirement income is reduced.

The bill was worked for and has support from Florida Alimony Reform, which also wants the bill to include a retroactive clause that would allow those ordered to pay alimony to have payments modified to comply with the new law if passed and signed by the governor.

“We are working for a system that is fair to everyone,” Stargel said. “But, yes the issue is controversial and emotional. I seem to work those types of bills.”

The House sponsor is Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, who sponsored it last year where it passed in the House, but died in committee in the Senate.
http://polkpolitics.blogs.theledger.com ... form-bill/

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:46 pm

FAR's new alimony reform bill has been drafted and files in the House. You can see it at the following link:

http://myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Docu ... dium=email
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When the courts order you to pay alimony, the yoke's on you!

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Skitz
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:35 pm

A new article from Alan Frisher published in the Sun Sentinel in Florida. Post a supportive reply there if you can:
Alan Frisher: Florida's alimony laws still archaic

Florida's alimony laws were written when women had little economic power, when divorce was uncommon, and cohabiting was scandalous. Those days are long gone, but the old-fashioned alimony laws — favoring permanent alimony, until death — linger on. Lives have been lost and families have been adversely affected for generations by such abusive orders.

Current laws cause immense hardship for those who must support an ex-spouse until he dies or she dies. Too many alimony payers are forced into insolvency, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and often must repeatedly return to divorce court, when life circumstances change and they need to modify payments. Those who receive permanent alimony are never obligated to work and never required to become self-sufficient.

As a result, many couples who wish to tie the knot are forgoing marriage because, under current Florida law, income from the "new" spouse can go toward alimony payments of the ex-spouse. The more than 2,500 members of Florida Alimony Reform, the largest alimony reform advocacy group in the country, would agree and say that they are the routine results of Florida's antiquated laws...............
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinio ... 9894.story
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:41 pm

The 2013 legislative effort in Florida has passed an early milestone.
HB231 Passes Civil Justice Subcommittee 10-2

We had a tremendous amount of support and HB 231 passed in the Civil Justice Subcommittee with a vote of 10-2. While this is a great reflection of what you have all done in contacting your legislators, it is only THE FIRST INNING of the legislative process. Now IS NOT the time to become complacent. We still have a great deal to do in order to reform Florida's archaic laws.

HB 231 will soon be scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee. At the same time, the companion Senate Bill 781 has been assigned to three committees. They are the Judiciary, Rules. and the Children, Family and Elder Affairs Committees.
http://www.floridaalimonyreform.com/

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:10 pm

Alimony reform bills propose relief from lifelong payments

CRESTVIEW — The days of a Florida ex-spouse potentially paying alimony even after death may end if reform bills working their way through the Legislature make it to the governor's desk.

"What we are talking about is trying to put fairness into the law," John Fromularo, Northwest Florida representative of Florida Alimony Reform, said while speaking to the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Government Issues Committee.

Alimony types include "bridge the gap," which helps the ex-spouse during a transition from being married to single; durational, from two years to the marriage's length; rehabilitative, paid until an ex-spouse is self-supporting; and permanent, Fromularo said.....................
http://www.crestviewbulletin.com/news/c ... s-1.101677
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:07 pm

Great News From Florida Alimony Reform !!!

SB 718 Passes the Florida Senate by a 29-11 Margin!


April 4, 2013 is the day that marks the official start of alimony reform in the state of Florida for 10's of thousands of families.

The Senate sent a strong message to opponents of reform and a supportive message to the citizens of Florida that after hearing from all sides of the alimony debate, they agree by almost a 3 to 1 margin, that current alimony laws in this state must change!

During testimony in the Senate committee hearings, they heard case after case of men and women paying permanent alimony for decades after a divorce with no end in sight. They heard how family assets are destroyed through endless litigation due to vague and antiquated laws.

Letters sent to legislators described how alimony recipients can co-habitate yet alimony can't be reduced or terminated. Children's college funds diminished in order to pay for attorney's fees. Debilitating alimony payments limiting ones ability to help their elderly parents or children.

Years of litigating a reduction of permanent alimony once you hit full retirement age where 10's of thousands of dollars are spent to pay attorneys at a time in ones life where every penny counts. In many cases, not being able to retire because the modification, if any at all, makes it impossible.

Interesting enough, some of the best testimony that supported our cause came from the Family Law Section (FLS) leadership unknowingly.

Testifying that Florida's laws are the most 'progressive' in the country they mentioned that there were about 200,000 modifications last year as if this was some sort of great achievement. Senator Lee pointed out that 200,000 modifications is not something to be proud of and that it shows proof that reform is needed.

The FLS publicly stated many times that permanent alimony reform is mostly coming from a few disgruntled men then in the same breath mention that this bill would flood the court systems.

Fortunately, the legislators saw right through this. That you can not debate on the one hand that reformers are a small group of people and in the same breath say that it would flood the court system. What is one to believe from these statements? Is anything that is said believable?

As the bill passed through the committees, we heard from practicing family law attorneys agreeing that reform was needed. Even within the ranks of the FLS many support our cause. Their leadership is out of step with many within their ranks.

This could not have been done without YOU! Many will get relief from this bill. Others do not benefit as much at the current time so the struggle will continue. Rest assured the FLS will be back next year trying to introduce legislation that will benefit their revenue stream. We not only need to be ready to challenge any bill that will destroy reform, we must continue to move forward.

We need all members to write to the Senators that voted Yes, a supportive thank you email. Address the email subject header with: My family thanks you for your Yes vote on SB 718 then go on and explain why it helps your family.
http://www.floridaalimonyreform.com/

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed May 01, 2013 11:03 pm

A message from Alan Frisher of Florida Alimony Reform:
This is one of the hardest messages I've ever had to write.

As you all know by now, Governor Scott has decided to veto SB718 for alimony reform. You can imagine how sad and disheartened we all are with this decision. While we explore any other options we may have, such as a legislative override, we must console ourselves knowing that we have brought awareness to an issue that continues to adversely affect thousands of families throughout our great State. I have to believe with every facet of my being, that that awareness will be a catalyst for change, if not now, sometime in the future.

We have all come together from different backgrounds, from different parts of the State but we all shared a similar story of neglect and abuse from our court system. Together we educated our legislators, in a very short time, as to why change is necessary. Our legislators listened and heard our pleas. They responded in a way that makes me proud to be an active political participant and voter. We may never know all of the political reasons why Governor Scott vetoed our bill, but he certainly had the option to do so at his discretion. At the very least, he now is fully aware that there is something wrong with the current law surrounding alimony. Florida should have been on the forefront of this much needed change in our family law, but unfortunately we are not. We believe that Family Law Reform is needed in Florida and we will continue our pursuit of that mission!

On a personal note, I am sorry to have let so many people down but grateful to have had the opportunity to help lead this incredible organization. When I look back, as is often the case when results are different than what is expected, I cannot think of a single thing I would have done differently. We were professional in our approach; we were respectful in our attitude; and we were correct in our vision and mission. I would do it all exactly the same way if given the opportunity again. Unfortunately it wasn't good enough to achieve our goal for alimony reform this session.

I would ask that we all write to Governor Scott and tell him how disappointed we are with his misguided decision.

Alan
Gov. Scott's Mailing Address:

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Phone: (850) 488-7146
http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/ ... -governor/

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When the courts order you to pay alimony, the yoke's on you!

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