Florida Alimony Reform

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu May 30, 2013 9:42 pm

Archaic Family Law Needs Reform in Florida.

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/ar ... 256986.htm

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:54 pm

Alimony reform returning to Tallahassee

By Lloyd Dunkelberger
H-T Capital Bureau
Published: Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 4:17 p.m.

TALLAHASSE - Efforts to revamp Florida's divorce laws failed this year, but lawmakers and groups pushing for alimony reform are gearing up for another attempt in the 2014 Legislature.

Gov. Rick Scott, who vetoed the alimony-reform bill passed last spring, will determine whether anything happens.

An alimony reform group will meet in Orlando this week, supporting legislation that would eliminate permanent alimony and make other changes in the way alimony is awarded in many of the nearly 80,000 divorce cases filed each year in Florida......
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20 ... /130819959
(click for full text)

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Florida Governor Recognizes the Possibility for Alimony Refo

Post by Skitz » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:07 pm

Florida Governor Recognizes the Possibility for Alimony Reform in 2014

TAVARES, Fla., Oct. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently met with Family Law Reform's Alan Frisher and suggested that 2014 may be the year for alimony reform provided that the new bill addressed the governor's concern about retroactivity.

"Current law, for permanent alimony payers, poses significant financial and legal barriers for modification," said Frisher. However, supporters of the new proposed bill hope that this will change if the new bill meets Florida Governor Scott's approval and becomes law.

At the end of the 2013 legislative session, Gov. Scott vetoed SB718 stating the retroactive adjustment of alimony could result in unfair, unanticipated results.

With Scott's implicit nod of approval, Family Law Reform will work with Rep. Ritch Workman, Senator Kelli Stargel, and the Family Section to address the retroactivity portion in the 2014 redraft along with these key elements:

Removal of permanent alimony from the present statutes;
Alimony payments will be modified or end at federal retirement age or standard retirement age for 'high risk' professions;
A defined amount based on a percentage that is affordable, averaging income for both spouses;
Second spouses' income shall not be used to calculate an upward modification of alimony for the former spouse;
A formal definition for what constitutes 'a substantial change of circumstances'............................
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2 ... -2014.html
(click for full text)

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Tavares group continues alimony reform efforts

Post by Skitz » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:45 pm

Tavares group continues alimony reform efforts

Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently met with Alan Frisher of Family Law Reform in Tavares and suggested that 2014 may be the year for alimony reform provided that the new bill addressed the governor's concern about retroactivity.

"Current law, for permanent alimony payers, poses significant financial and legal barriers for modification," said Frisher.

However, supporters of the new proposed bill hope that this will change if the new bill meets Florida Governor Scott's approval and becomes law. At the end of the 2013 legislative session, Gov. Scott vetoed SB718 stating the retroactive adjustment of alimony could result in unfair, unanticipated results..............
http://www.dailycommercial.com/news/art ... 3920e.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:26 am

This message arrives courtesy of Florida Alimony Reform:
DIVORCE CORP: THE MOVIE
Show DIVORCE CORP: THE MOVIE in Your City
"Rotten Tomatoes" Needs Your Votes
Touch Gov. Scott Today!
WAPA Message
One Page Flyer To Spread Alimony Education
Your Financial Support Needed

Monday, December 16, 2013

Greetings!

DIVORCE CORP:
THE MOVIE

Coming to a theater near you on January 10th, this documentary exposes the profiteering and injustices associated with Family Court throughout the United States.

Opening Jan. 10th 2014

We are in the process of securing several screening locations in Florida and will be inviting media and legislators to attend.

Here is the link to the film's website: http://divorcecorp.com/

We can formally announce that the film's Florida premiere will be on Friday, January 10th at 8:00pm in Zephyrhills (just northeast of Tampa, Florida).

Here's the link to buy your tickets in advance: http://tinyurl.com/mpjdnwe

We are flying in the film's director on Monday, January 13th for a special screening that day with the local media. The film's director will host a question and answer session before and after the film on that date. Exact show times are not yet set, but are expected to be late afternoon. That event will also be open to the public (space will be limited).

Family Law Reform leaders will be at both of these showings to introduce the movie and special guests, and to answer any questions that you may have.

We expect to announce showings in Pensacola, Melbourne, South Florida, and several other locations over the next two weeks. Plan on attending. Bring a friend. Bring any elected officials that you know. This movie is going to be a game changer for our struggle to fix our broken, outdated Permanent Alimony laws here in Florida and across the nation!

If you haven't seen the trailers for Divorce Corp: The Movie, click here and see what is finally being told. Watch all six trailers. Dr. Drew narrates the divorce/child support/alimony process and the expensive games played with family's emotions and the family's life savings.

"A shocking expose of the inner workings of the $50 billion a year U.S. family law industry, Divorce Corp shines a bright light on the appalling waste and shameless, collusive practices seen daily in family courts. It is a stunning documentary film that anyone considering marriage or divorce must see."

Public Pressure will change Florida's alimony laws. Divorce Corp: The Movie is one of the best ways of spreading the word. We will keep you informed of showings throughout Florida, as they become available.

HOW TO SCHEDULE A SHOWING OF "DIVORCE CORP: THE MOVIE"
IN YOUR OWN CITY

If you would like to have Divorce Corp: The Movie shown in your own community, the steps are simple, but require a financial investment. If properly marketed and attended, your financial investment in your community would be recovered.

The steps are fairly simple.
1. Find a theater in your area you would like "Divorce Corp: The Movie" to be shown.
2. Click Here to Request a Screening
3. The producers of the movie will help you through the details and the fees. The fees vary with the theater, seating, etc.

Divorce Corp Film Trailer (Documentary)
http://youtu.be/lZTOT6DKfZ8

We need to have this film shown throughout Florida. Make a few phone calls. There are theater owners paying permanent alimony or otherwise affected by Florida's outdated alimony laws. You may be surprised at their willingness to help.

Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com) is a web site that has a wealth of information about movies. They also prominently display the public's reaction to "want to see the film" or "do not want to see the film".

After watching the trailer the two icons will pop up for voting "to see the movie" or "not see the movie". It looks a lot better for Divorce Corp with a lot of positive feedback from the public. This positive feedback goes not only around North America but also around the world.

So - please click here to go to Rotten Tomatoes web site, watch the Divorce Corp Trailer, then vote "I want to see this film". Quick action on your part will help out tremendously.

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:33 am

Alan Frisher: Florida alimony laws hard on men

By Alan Frisher

December 27, 2013

The concept of the divorce law firm's specialty — "to serve man" — has gained statewide attention since the story appeared on the front page of your Dec. 7 paper.

As the president of Family Law Reform, I think the reasons behind such counsel draw attention to the draconian alimony laws that still exist in Florida. The story shows that bias against men in family courts remains so pronounced that there is a sub-category of lawyers who only represent men, and rightfully so. Men may, indeed, need some added assistance.

The term alimony comes from the Latin word alimonia, and was a rule of sustenance in medieval times to assure the wife's lodging, food, clothing and other necessities after divorce. It was first used under the ancient Babylonian code (created ca. 1780 B.C.E. known as the Code of Hammurabi.) If a couple divorced, the man was obligated to return the dowry.

Even though Florida's alimony laws have progressed since then, they now mimic the realities and attitudes of the 1950s.

While divorces are technically "no-fault," in 2013 the ex-husband is still considered the "bad guy" and the "breadwinner" and the wife is considered "helpless victim."

In times past, when women were full-time homemakers with no marketable skills, alimony was necessary. Today, our citizens deserve laws based on the social and economic realities of the 21st Century, on women's business and economic power and the fact that people are living — and living well — decades longer than they did in the 1950s.

Florida's alimony courts are so famously skewed against men and so generous with lifetime alimony that some women move to Florida to get divorced and then return home, winning what is commonly called the "alimony lottery." In addition, they've gotten the judge's permission to take their children from their fathers, often leaving thunderstruck men impoverished and childless.......................
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinio ... 1347.story
(click for full text)

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April update from FAR

Post by Skitz » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:42 pm

Easter brings a time of reflection and rebirth for many Floridians. We reflect about what has happened with alimony reform and where we are heading.

We have helped educate many legislators and now have contacts in Tallahassee. The value of these contacts should not be underestimated. When you have powerful legislators who now see the damage Florida's alimony laws are bringing to our families, they can make change. There will be opportunities in the future for them to assist the legislative process in a positive direction.

Politics kept an alimony reform bill from being filed this year, which may, in the long run, turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Next years bill will be much stronger than any we could have passed this year. It will probably be very much like the one that was on our governor's desk last year. If so, there will be a major shift in Florida's "Family Law System."

Where are we heading?
For now, it's Grassroots Politics.

We're asking you to do 4 things right now:

1. Get the DVD Divorce Corp (click here).
2. Show it to your friends, co-workers, family, neighbors...everyone you can!
3. Have them sign up for our newsletter at http://www.FloridaAlimonyReform.com
4. Tell your friends, co-workers, etc. to show Divorce Corp to their friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 as often as possible.

We will enter the new political arena in 2015 with credibility and some power.

The more people on our email list, the more power with our communication about Tallahassee, our politicians and alimony reform. We are close to 10,000 on our email list. There is no obligation when you sign up and you stay informed when things begin to happen.

Next Easter there will be much happening in Tallahassee with alimony reform. Let's all hang in there, then hold our legislators accountable to their constituents. Alimony reform is for the good of all, even the recipient!

Thank you for your continued support. There isn't much happening with alimony reform this year in Tallahassee. We are continuing to maintain the contacts and communication with key legislators and will continue to follow the candidates running for office.

Please attend any of your legislator's town hall meetings or the candidate forums that will be held in your community. We must make sure Alimony Reform is a top issue for every legislator next year.

With less news, there are fewer newsletters. Your contributions are staying safe, and we will use the money wisely when contributing to the proper legislators for the 2015 session.

Family Law Reform
215 E. Burleigh Blvd.
Tavares, FL 32778
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:29 pm

As you can see, Florida Alimony Reform is hard at work on their new legislative proposal for 2015. They are hoping to have a finished bill ready for submission soon. Let's all wish them luck this year. You may recall Massachusetts Alimony Reform did not win with their first legislative attempt either but they came back strong with a new bill and alimony reform is now a reality in Massachusetts. Hopefully the second time around in Florida will see a victory there as well.
Greetings!
Welcome new and old members alike. Our organization's focus is REFORMING CURRENT ALIMONY LAW IN FLORIDA, with an eye on future family law issues.

Our Florida Alimony Reform Bill Sponsors

We are very pleased and excited to have Rep. Colleen Burton as the sponsor for the 2015 Alimony Reform Bill in the House of Representatives. As many of you know, Rep. Ritch Workman was our sponsor in 2013, but due to his position as Chairman of the Rules Committee of the House, he is not able to sponsor any bills. Rep. Burton is the perfect sponsor. She is married with three children and understands the intent for Gov. Scott's slogan, "Let's get to work."

Sen. Kelli Stargel is our Senate Sponsor. In 2013 she was very influential in helping the Alimony Reform Bill pass by a Super Majority in the Senate. She has agreed to again be our Senate Sponsor. Senator Stargel recognizes that there is need for change in our current law.

By having two women as our Sponsors, it will be challenging for opponents to say that this is a male issue. It's not. It's a People Issue! Democrats and Republicans, men and women, young and old young and old are all affected by our current alimony laws. This year we create a more balanced law for everyone.

What are the key features of the new bill?

While we are still in discussions about some of the specifics of the new proposed bill, suffice it to say that If we achieve the goals that we have discussed, we believe that the new proposed bill will among the most progressive reform bills in the Nation.

Unlike current law that tries to maintain the same standard of living after a divorce as was had during the marriage, the proposed bill will will recognize that neither divorcing party may be able to maintain the same standard of living after the dissolution of marriage. This lays the proper foundation for judges to make appropriate rulings on amounts of alimony.

It will finally eliminate permanent alimony by incorporating guidelines for Judges that will allow for a range of amounts and duration, while still allowing for judicial discretion on outlying cases. Finally....elimination of Permanent Alimony---YAY!!!

And while there cannot be full retroactivity (as the reason Gov Scott Vetoed it back in 2013), there will be defined substantial changes of circumstance that will allow a certain number of current alimony payers to expect a modification or an elimination of their alimony.

There will be articles written and some media attention coming out soon. We just wanted to be among the first to tell our members that we are cautiously optimistic about reform this upcoming legislative session.

Alan Frisher says, "We are working toward a balanced bill that will incorporate guidelines for judges with ranges for amounts and duration. This will effectively eliminate permanent alimony in Florida."

When the bill is filed, we will notify our members, or you can check at the Florida House Bills page.

When it is filed, please take the time to read it carefully. As last time, the bill that is filed will be going through legislative committees, and so the final bill will look different from the initial bill. We'll have to see how strong we can keep it.


To find and write your Florida State Representative, click here.
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/ ... dium=email

To find and write your Florida State Senator, click here.
https://www.flsenate.gov/senators/find? ... dium=email

Remember, If we let up...we lose!
And here is another source for the same story:
http://www.globenewswire.com/news-relea ... -Bill.html

And another:
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/02/13/la ... aul-again/

Another slant with a personal story:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florid ... story.html

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:13 pm

Lifetime alimony may be eliminated in Florida with reforms

By DONNA GEHRKE-WHITE
SUN SENTINEL

Paying alimony for life soon could be dead in Florida, if the state Legislature approves radical reforms this year.

This would be the second such attempt to do away with a system of alimony that some call outdated.

Florida is one of the last remaining states that allows alimony for life to be granted. The law harkens back to the days when women didn't work.

The legislature tried to eliminate lifelong alimony two years ago, but Gov. Rick Scott vetoed it, saying the changes could have eliminated payments to people who were already receiving them.

The latest effort doesn't include that provision. For the first time, Florida would get guidelines for how long alimony should be awarded.

Details are still being worked out, but the bill would require judges to consider factors such as the length of the marriage and the income of both spouses. Judges could go outside the guidelines only in extreme cases...........
http://staugustine.com/news/florida-new ... OQQN_nF9fM
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:19 pm

Lawmakers considering alimony overhaul again

TALLAHASSEE — A “child support-esque” formula could determine the amount of alimony divorcing spouses would receive under a radical overhaul of the state’s alimony laws now in the works.
In contrast to hotly contested legislation that prompted an outcry from the National Organization for Women and pitted alimony-reform advocates against divorce lawyers two years ago — — and ultimately resulted in a veto by Gov. Rick Scott — — the new plan floated by House Rules Chairman Ritch Workman so far has the blessing of people on both sides of the issue.
It’s also supported by Alan Frisher of Tavares, the head of Floridians for Alimony Reform, whose been trying to change the laws for years.
Under Workman’s proposal, judges would rely on guidelines that include the length of marriage and the incomes of both spouses to determine how much alimony divorcing spouses should receive. Judges could also go outside the guidelines in extreme cases.................
http://www.dailycommercial.com/news/art ... 196d6.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:44 pm

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Florida Alimony Reform informs us that their new 2015 bill has now been filed in the Florida legislature. Join in wishing them the best of luck with their newest effort.

http://www.floridaalimonyreform.com/
ALIMONY REFORM BILL FILED IN FLORIDA

Representative Colleen Burton filed the 2015 Alimony Reform Bill with the Florida House of Representatives today. It has been worked and reworked. Please take the time to read it carefully. This bill will help to change alimony in Florida forever. Will it need additional modifications in the future? Yes. But for now, we have a bill that will make an enormous change in the way divorce/alimony is handled in Florida.

We will be having a webinar shortly to go over the bill and help explain what it will and will not do. Until then, read the bill carefully. There are many current alimony payers this bill will help immediately.

Please remember, there will be changes and some additions in the bill as it passes through the committees.

This is the first filed 'draft' of the bill an that the Senate version is expected to mirror the House version, and be filed shortly (it may even happen today).

Remember, If we let up...we lose!
Alan's Message

Our alimony reform bill has just been officially filed. Please note that changes/additions will occur as this is the first filed 'draft.' I'm thrilled to say that we are certainly on our way for real reform in our State. In this bill we have significant change to current law that specifically addresses many, if not all, of our issues over the years. I guarantee you that it is not perfect. No legislation ever is. But it certainly is much better than where we currently are, and will develop and grow even better as years go on.

This is the first major step in achieving critical family law change for many current payers, as well as future payers of alimony in our great State. This new law will be beneficial to divorcing spouses and families now, and in the foreseeable future.

I look forward to discussing this new proposal with our membership and legislators alike, and welcome any constructive ideas that may make the bill even better.

Alan
This bill has now been filed in the Florida Senate as well:
SENATE ALIMONY REFORM BILL FILED IN FLORIDA

Senator Kelli Stargel has filed the Senate Bill for Alimony Reform in 2015.

The Senate version was filed with shared parenting language. That language may prove challenging for approval with the Family section. We are trying to amend the wording to make it more palatable for everyone.

Please remember, there will be changes and some additions in the bill as it passes through the committees.

We will have an online webinar shortly to help explain what this bill does and does not do. Keep your eyes open for the date and time.

Remember, If we let up...we lose!
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:04 am

Bill would allow lower alimony after retirement

By Donna Gehrke-White
Sun Sentinel

Lgislation that would end permanent alimony in Florida also would let people reduce their payments after retiring.

House and Senate versions of the bill were filed late Tuesday to overhaul Florida's alimony system and, for the first time, impose a formula for awarding support.

Under the bill, judges would be required to consider the length of the marriage and the difference in income between the spouses. Shorter and lower alimony payments would be given to spouses in marriages that lasted 20 years or less.

Those paying alimony would be able to petition to reduce or end payments once they reach retirement age. "A substantial change in circumstance" would exist once a payer became eligible for full Social Security payments, the bill says.

Under both bills, the overhaul would extend into other areas for the first time:

• Judges would have to consider whether a spouse could be earning more money — and that decision would affect the amount of alimony.........................
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/pe ... story.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:04 pm

Alimony Reform Bill Stirs Passions on Both Sides

The Florida Legislature is considering a bill that would end permanent alimony in most future divorces, setting up formulas that would set time limits and amounts based on the length of the marriage and the income difference between the spouses.

Sponsored by Rep. Colleen Burton and Sen. Kelli Stargel, both Polk County Republicans, the bill (HB 943) calls for payments that would last to between 25 and 75 percent of the length of the marriage. Judges could break the guidelines only in unusual cases, stating their reasons in writing.

The bill's supporters want an end to lifetime payments, saying recipients use existing law to extort a meal ticket even when they could work. Opponents say ending permanent alimony would make it impossible for mothers to stay home with their children, for fear of being left destitute, and punish women who give up careers to keep a family functioning..........................
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Alim ... 16181.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:57 pm

The Road to Eliminating Permanent Alimony is Shorter Than You May Think

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearing its first hurdle in the Florida House of Representatives, HB 943 passed with a 9 to 4 vote in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee Tuesday (March 17th). The bill is off to a fast-paced start that could lead to the elimination of permanent alimony in Florida as early as October 2015.

"This bill is a step in the right direction toward a balanced compromise and less litigation," says Alan Frisher, Financial Advisor, Divorce Financial analyst and Co-founder of Family Law Reform (FLR). FLR is the largest alimony reform advocacy group in the country. Frisher gave his testimony before the House Civil Justice Subcommittee saying, "Current law is abusive to both the alimony payer and the alimony receiver. The payer oftentimes ends up having to pay unaffordable amounts of alimony--and for some-- puts them in bankruptcy, contempt and sometimes even in jail. Current law also allows the receiver to perpetuate an entitlement attitude. That attitude keeps them from working, which is the direct opposite of Governor Rick Scott's winning campaign slogan, 'Let's Get to Work' initiative."

Thomas Sasser, of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, also spoke before the subcommittee saying, "This is something the Florida Law Section supports. We have worked for over eight months with Representative Colleen Burton, Representative Rich Workman and other stakeholders on this issue. It has been a compromise to seek a balance on a topic that has been contentious for the better part of five years. This has been a product of compromise and balance"...........................................
http://www.globenewswire.com/news-relea ... Think.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:39 am

Stargel Revives Bill On Alimony Payments

LAKELAND | Two legislators from Lakeland are the driving forces on a total reform of the state's laws on alimony payments.

Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, has revived a bill that she sponsored two years ago, but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott. Her Senate Bill 1248, she said, will give more equal guidelines to family court judges on how to define and construct alimony for a couple that is separating.

Aiding in the bill is freshman Rep. Colleen Burton, R- Lakeland, who is sponsoring House Bill 943, which passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday.

Alimony provides financial support to a dependent former spouse and is calculated under entirely different rules and formulas than child support.

The supporters of the alimony reform bill say current guidelines are so vague that parties have no way of understanding what the outcome could be...................
http://www.theledger.com/article/201503 ... /150319264
(click for full text)

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