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Alimony reform is moving through the Florida legislature.....again.

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:56 am
by Skitz
Is this the third year? It's hard to remember. Efforts to reform the alimony laws in Florida seem to be snake bitten. It seems they get off to a good start with a good bill and then................

Well, let's all wish them good luck down in the sunshine state this year. They work hard and they deserve far better than they have been getting. The alimony laws in Florida certainly do need reforming.

A bill aimed at effectively ending permanent alimony is heading to the House floor after clearing its final committee of reference on Thursday.

The Judiciary Committee approved the measure (HB 455), sponsored by Republican state Rep. Colleen Burton of Lakeland, by a 14-3 vote.

Chiefly, the measure limits judges’ discretion in awarding alimony by providing guidelines for how much an ex-spouse should get and for how long.

The idea is that “no matter where you live, you can anticipate you will receive equal treatment,” Burton said.

Her bill picked up a key Democratic supporter in state Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Coral Springs, a self-described “child of divorce.”

He said he knows from first-hand experience that “an indefinite financial relationship between two divorced parents is bad for the children.”......................... ... d-to-floor
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Alimony overhaul on the move in House

By Dara Kam
The News Service of Florida
Published: Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 7:13 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — A House panel signed off Thursday on a proposal that would overhaul the state's alimony laws by doing away with permanent alimony and creating a formula based on the length of marriage and the incomes of both spouses to determine payments.

Years in the making, the measure has the blessing of alimony reform advocates and the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar.

A nearly identical measure fell apart during the final days of last spring's shortened legislative session after the two sides, once at odds over alimony reform, had reached a compromise.

The effort got enmeshed last year in an acrimonious battle between two powerful Republican lawmakers, Senate budget chief Tom Lee and House Rules Chairman Ritch Workman, over whether the proposal should also address time-sharing of children between divorcing parents, something Lee wanted. Workman said the time-sharing issue killed the deal, but Lee disputed that was the reason for the bill's demise............ ... e-in-House
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Re: Alimony reform is moving through the Florida legislature.....again.

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:43 pm
by Skitz
Changes ahead in alimony, child custody

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board

On Valentine's Day, we hope you are celebrating romance and marriage, which can be the sources of life's greatest joy. But there is another side — the breakup of a marriage — which too often is the source of heartache, anger, fear, financial security and injustice.

Because the Legislature is dealing with divorce and alimony, so must we. Add disputes over minor children, and the urgency is even more apparent.

We are not going to pretend that disputes so fraught with emotion can be settled to everyone's satisfaction. We are not going to pretend that, in every case, alimony and custody reforms advancing in the Florida Legislature are going to end the injustices that mar the current rules. Overall, though, the reforms will treat all parties in a divorce — both spouses and any children — more fairly.

The reforms do this by changing some basic assumptions and by establishing guidelines that, while flexible, will result in similar outcomes in similar cases.

The two major basic assumptions that would change are: 1) That alimony is forever, and 2) That one parent should be favored over another in custody decisions.

House Bill 455, which has passed major House committee tests, provides formulas the courts would use for deciding how much alimony is due from which spouse and how long it should last. In general, spouses with higher incomes would pay more and a longer marriage would result in longer payments. However, it would be rare for payments to continue longer than 75 percent of the marriage's length................ ... story.html
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Re: Alimony reform is moving through the Florida legislature.....again.

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:17 am
by Skitz
This year's alimony reform effort in Florida has been approved in the State Senate and now goes back to the House for a final vote there. This bill is the result of a compromise between the House and Senate and should pass.

The next step would be the governor's desk for his signature. The last time an alimony reform bill got that far it was met with a veto. It is hoped the governor's concerns have been satisfied with this bill.
Senate signs off on alimony overhaul

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Senate approved an alimony overhaul that would establish formulas for alimony payments and includes a controversial provision dealing with how much time children should spend with their divorced parents.

The proposal, approved in a 24-14 vote Friday, is a compromise with the House, which originally objected to the inclusion of the child time-sharing provision. The measure now goes to the House.

The time-sharing issue was at the center of a bitter dispute between two prominent Republican lawmakers --- Senate budget chief Tom Lee and House Rules Chairman Ritch Workman --- that caused a similar bill to die last year. Lee wanted child time-sharing included in the bill, while Workman opposed it.

A compromise between Lee and Workman, reached late in this year's session, did away with a proposed presumption that children spend their time equally between both parents. Instead, judges would "begin with the premise that a minor child should spend approximately equal amounts of time with each parent."

Critics of the measure complained that there was little substantive change between the "presumption" and "premise" that children split their time between parents.

Workman has worked for years with alimony-reform advocates and the Florida Bar's Family Law Section to revamp what all sides called Florida's outdated alimony statutes................... ... y-overhaul
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