Florida Alimony Reform

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:28 pm

Elimination of Florida Alimony Laws Continue

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (WTXL) - After years of squabbling, lawmakers are finally united on a major overhaul of Florida's alimony laws, agreeing to do away with permanent alimony and to use formulas to determine payment amounts based on the lengths of marriage and the combined earnings of couples.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee gave a first nod to the measure in a party-line vote this week. Democrats are skeptical about the proposal they say, favors breadwinners. Bill proponents say, the state's current alimony law perpetuates an entitlement attitude that should not be allowed and is abusive to both the payer and the payee.....
http://www.wtxl.com/news/elimination-of ... 827b8.html
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:49 pm

Senate Alimony Reform Getting Bipartisan Support

Deciding who is owed what after a divorce can be chaotic. But lawmakers want to bring order to the process through math. The Senate’s alimony reform bill uses a formula to decide how much a person should pay in alimony and for how long.

The formula bases alimony payments on the couple’s gross income and the length of their marriage. Bill sponsor Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) says that helps make alimony decisions more straight forward.

“What we did is we took the interested parties we had them sit down we asked them for today’s marriages how would you structure alimony. And that’s basically a start from zero. It’s a complete rewrite for how we do alimony, putting into the guidelines the factors and the formula driven model similar to how we do child support,” Stargel says.

Stargel says her bill isn't based on a pervious bill that drew fire from activists who worried about the measure’s impact on women. And was eventually vetoed by the governor who raised concerns about the measure--including questions about the bill’s retroactivity. This time around the bill applies only to cases pending or filed after the measure’s implementation date. And Sen. Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) says as a family law lawyer, he’s supportive of the changes. He says under current law he doesn't have much ability to predict what kind of outcome his client can expect. He says this measure puts all parties on more equal footing............
http://news.wfsu.org/post/senate-alimon ... an-support
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:30 am

Alimony reform moving forward

TALLAHASSEE — A renewed effort to fundamentally change Florida’s alimony system is gaining momentum as lawmakers head into the second half of their 2015 session.

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill (SB 1248), sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, that would end permanent alimony, create a formula for determining the length and amount of alimony and provide a “50-50” child-sharing arrangement.

A similar bill (HB 943), sponsored by Reps. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, and Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, is moving through the House.

Lawmakers have seen a version of this legislation before. A divided Legislature approved an alimony reform bill in 2013 only to see it vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott and opposed by some legal advocates and women’s groups.

But there are several key differences this year that could make the alimony bills more viable.

For one, Stargel said the current legislation would not apply “retroactively” to divorce cases already settled. Scott listed the retroactivity provision as the major reason why he vetoed the 2013 legislation, saying it could bring “unfair and unanticipated results” to spouses who had built their post-divorce lives on the alimony agreements....
http://politics.heraldtribune.com/2015/ ... g-forward/
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:29 pm

This message was just sent out by Florida Alimony Reform:
BREAKING NEWS!
Senate Appropriations Committee
Approves Alimony Reform Bill SB 1248
By A 12-6 Bipartisan Vote!


The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Senator Stargel's Alimony Reform Bill on Tuesday in a dramatic 12-6 vote! This is the last committee stop before our bill heads to the floor of each chamber for a final vote!

What's next? We anticipate that the House version (HB 943 sponsored by Representative Colleen Burton) will be put before the entire Florida House of Representatives for a final vote as early as this Friday, April 24th!

Once the bill clears the House, it is expected to head over to the Florida Senate for them to vote on and approve before being presented to Governor Scott for his signature. The Senate vote is anticipated to occur early next week!

It is important that you contact your state representatives NOW and tell them to VOTE YES on House Bill 943 when it comes before them for a vote! Don't know who your State Representative is? You can use this link to find out!

We still have work ahead of us! With your help we'll make Alimony Reform a reality in Florida in 2015!
This is really good news. Florida has a reputation as being one of the worst states to get a divorce in and they are badly in need of meaningful reform of their system. FAR deserves a load of credit for getting their state to this point.

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:24 pm

The run of good news out of Florida continues:
The Florida House Passes Historic Alimony Reform Legislation Friday By A Landslide 93-22 Bipartisan Vote!

What's next? The Florida Senate has to pass identical legislation before sending it to Governor Scott for his signature!

We need the thousands of members of Family Law Reform to call and email our State Senators NOW to tell them to "ADOPT HOUSE BILL 943 AND PASS ALIMONY REFORM FOR FLORIDA'S FAMILIES!"
If you live in Florida it is time to call and write to your state Senator right now! Anticipating this bill's passage in the senate, prepare to also call and write to the governor asking him to sign the bill into law this time around.

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:59 pm

A shocking turn of events in Florida. Due to politics that had little or nothing to do with the alimony reform legislation cruising through the Florida legislature, the alimony reform bill may not pass in this session.
This update comes from Florida Alimony Reform:
FLORIDA HOUSE ABRUPTLY ADJOURNS, LEAVING ALIMONY REFORM AND DOZENS OF OTHER PROPOSED
BILLS IN JEOPARDY!


The annual session of the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature crashed to a halt Tuesday as the House adjourned three days early because of a budget impasse with the Senate over Medicaid expansion.

This leaves our Alimony Reform efforts in limbo as the Senate is forced into a take-it-or-leave-it situation.

Other important proposed legislation that has been impacted include Water Legislation, Corrections System Reforms, Aid for Persons With Disabilities, Uber/Ride Sharing, Health Care Expansion, Gaming, "Fracking", and many more. We are not alone in being disappointed at what has transpired.

Is Alimony Reform dead for 2015? Unfortunately, after today's unbelievable turn of events, it's quite likely. But it's not over yet if we take action! We need the thousands of members of Family Law Reform to call and email our State Senators Wednesday morning and tell them to "ADOPT HOUSE BILL 943 AND PASS ALIMONY REFORM FOR FLORIDA'S FAMILIES!"

Here are all of the Florida Senators phone numbers. Print this out! Call them all and tell them to please support Alimony Reform in 2015 and have the Senate "ADOPT HOUSE BILL 943 AND PASS ALIMONY REFORM FOR FLORIDA'S FAMILIES!" They need to hear from us first thing tomorrow morning before their morning sessions begin! Let's swamp the phone system in Tallahassee!!!

* Senator Rob Bradley (R) (850) 487-5007
* Senator Greg Evers (R) (850) 487-5002
* Senator Darren Soto (D) (850) 487-5014
* Senator Tom Lee (R) (850) 487-5024
* Senator Jeremy Ring (D) (850) 487-5029
* Senator Arthenia Joyner (D) (850) 487-5019
* Senator Bill Montford (D) (850) 487-5003
* Senator Gwen Margolis (D) (850) 487-5035
* Senator Christopher Smith (D) (850) 487-5031
* Senator Dorothy L. Hukill (R) (850) 487-5008

* Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) (850) 487-5030
* Senator Joe Negron (R) (850) 487-5032
* Senator Bill Galvano (R) (850) 487-5026
* Senator Rene Garcia (R) (850) 487-5038
* Senator Alan Hays (R) (850) 487-5011
* Senator Anitere Flores (R) (850) 487-5037
* Senator Jack Latvala (R) (850) 487-5020
* Senator Garrett Richter (R) (850) 487-5023
* Senator David Simmons (R) (850) 487-5010
* Senator Don Gaetz (R) (850) 487-5001

* Senator Thad Altman (R) (850) 487-5016
* Senator Denise Grimsley (R) (850) 487-5021
* Senator Alan Hay (R) (850) 487-5011
* Senator Miguel de la Portilla (R) (850) 487-5040
* Senator Aaron Bean (R) (850) 487-5004
* Senator Jeff Brandes (R) (850) 487-5022
* Senator Wilton Simpson (R) (850) 487-5018
* Senator Kelli Stargel (R) (850) 487-5015
* Senator Joseph Abruzzo (D) (850) 487-5025
* Senator Oscar Braynon (D) (850) 487-5036

* Senator Eleanor Sobel (D) (850) 487-5033
* Senator Maria Sachs (D) (850) 487-5034
* Senator Jeff Clemens (D) (850) 487-5027
* Senator Audrey Gibson (D) (850) 487-5009
* Senator John Legg (R) (850) 487-5017
* Senator Travis Hutson (R) (850) 487-5006
* Senator Charles Dean (R) (850) 487-5005
* Senator Nancy Detert (R) (850) 487-5028
* Senate President Andy Gardiner (R) (850) 487-5013
* Senator Dwight Bullard (D) (850) 487-5039
* Senator Geraldine Thompson (D) (850) 487-5012


Call them, especially your own Senator, tell them you're a constituent, and politely ask them to "ADOPT HOUSE BILL 943 AND PASS ALIMONY REFORM FOR FLORIDA'S FAMILIES!"

We're about to make history together. But we need everyone on board! And we need you to take action NOW! Thank you!!!!
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Fri May 01, 2015 1:28 am

Sad news: the very promising campaign for alimony reform in Florida has now been derailed indirectly due to political problems in that state. Reform will now have to wait for the next legislative session.

This update courtesy of Florida Alimony Reform:
FLORIDA HOUSE ABRUPTLY ADJOURNS

As many of you are all painfully aware, the annual session of the Florida Legislature crashed to a halt Tuesday as the House adjourned three days early because of a budget impasse with the Senate over Medicaid expansion.

This left our Alimony Reform efforts - as well as scores of other important pieces of legislation - in limbo, as the Senate was forced into a take-it-or-leave-it situation.

What does this all mean? It means we're finished for the 2015 legislative session which ends on May 1st. Alimony Reform will not happen this session.

What's next? The 2016 session begins on January 2nd, 2016. Preliminary Committee Hearings actually begin in September 2015. Our wait will be short to get a new bill filed and moved through the legislature.

There are a few important points that our members need to understand.

First, the move by the leadership in the Florida House is simply unprecedented. It's never happened before, so it was impossible to even see an early adjournment as something problematic.

Secondly, the 2016 Legislative Session opens early next year.....the first week in January. That means that Committee Meetings will start in September....just a few months away. We believe that our elected officials - especially in an election year - will want to deal with the dozens of bills that were left "hanging" during this legislative session very early in the next session. That is good news for Alimony Reform.

Third, we are hopeful that what finally gets implemented in 2016 will be an even stronger bill than what was proposed in 2015. We would look forward to yet again working with The Family Section of The Florida Bar to craft real reform that is beneficial to all Florida families.

Finally, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Senate and House sponsors and supporters. We continue to make progress and gain credibility among our elected officials thanks to all of your support.
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:09 pm

Florida Alimony Reform

There is another new alimony bill being considered. It contains significant reforms including but not limited to alimony formulas, new definitions, altercation of the right to modify a former judgment and a presumption of 50/50 time sharing of children. The bill is likely to be controversial between those in favor of the bill and for those against this bill just as it has been with past bills. See the bill below.

http://cfldivorce.com/wp-content/upload ... ee-PDF.pdf
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/florid ... orm-52750/
(click for full text)

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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:43 am

LEARN FROM THE WORST ALIMONY LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES

TAVARES, FL – 04 Nov, 2015 – For women and men considering divorce, or that currently pay alimony, the alimony laws in Florida are addressed in Title VI, Chapter 61.08.

Unfortunately, the statute is antiquated and there’s a wide spectrum of interpretation applied into judgments – keeping upstanding citizens – women and men – in court for years battling abusive alimony, and in some cases, permanent alimony, or financial commitments that are at times up to 100% of their income.

Worse, Florida’s citizens are shackled with alimony payments they cannot financially make – by laws that ignore reduced income in retirement – medical and handicapped exceptions – when the other party does not want to work or retool, and earn income – or when the other party is financially supported by a live-in partner.

A dentist paying $3,500 per month in lifetime alimony recently stated, “I am a women who was in a traditional marriage which ended in divorce and was sentenced with permanent alimony to an ex-husband who refused to work. We live in an age where everyone can, and should, work to support themselves. Just because some couples choose to have one parent stay at home with the children, does not entitle anyone to such a privileged lifestyle.”.................
http://www.pressreleaserocket.net/learn ... es/366748/
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:26 am

Acrimony remains over alimony reform

By Dara Kam
News Service of Florida
Published: Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 4:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 4:28 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — An alimony overhaul years in the making is back on the table, after a similar proposal fell apart during the final days of this spring's legislative session.

Three proposed rewrites of Florida's alimony laws now floating in the Legislature would each do away with permanent alimony and use formulas to determine payment amounts based on lengths of marriage and the combined earnings of couples.

After years of wrangling, supporters of alimony reform and the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar finally reached a compromise during the session that ended May 1.

But the effort got enmeshed 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..........
http://www.ocala.com/article/20151119/WIRE/151119716
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:39 pm

Proposed changes to divorce laws gain strength — and opposition

By Lloyd Dunkelberger
Published: Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 11:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 11:16 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE - The emotional, contentious issue of changing Florida’s alimony law is heading for another try in the Legislature.

It represents the latest chapter in a multi-year debate of revamping a law that impacts many of the 80,000 Florida couples who end their marriages each year. Lawmakers passed an alimony reform bill in 2013, but it was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott, who objected to retroactive provisions in the legislation.

Supporters of the legislation say it is aimed at modernizing Florida’s system of dissolving marriages, establishing a formula and guidelines that would be used by judges in awarding alimony and child support, establishing child-sharing arrangements and making subsequent modifications in alimony payments.

In general, the bills would eliminate permanent alimony, creating a formula that would provide ranges for a judge to award alimony based on the income levels of the spouses and the length of the marriage. Alimony would be higher in marriages of 20 or more years, while marriages of less than two years would generally not involve alimony.

“The intent of this bill is to reduce litigation thereby preserving the assets of the families and their spouses who are going through divorce and alimony proceedings,” said Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, who is sponsoring the House bill (HB 455).................
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20 ... opposition
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:00 pm

Alimony overhaul on the move in Florida House

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.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee approved its version of this year’s measure (HB 455) — which doesn’t include the time-sharing element — in a 14-3 vote after hearing emotional testimony from divorced spouses on both sides of the issue..................
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/ ... use/nqKD6/
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:44 am

Alimony Reform Goes to Governor
By Jason Clough of News Channel 8

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Capitol News Service) – Controversial legislation that either turns alimony upside down or provides certainty to divorcing parents is on its way to the Governor for his signature. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, opponents will now pressure Governor Rick Scott to veto the legislation.

Permanent alimony goes away, replaced by a formula based on the years married and spouses income under the legislation on its way to the Governor. Opponents piled on, trying to raise doubts.

“The language is ambiguous,” said Rep. Lori Berman.

“We retroactively tampered with as far as the alimony concern” exclaimed Rep. Joe Geller.

Democrats tried to add a provision that the bill was not retroactive, but Republicans blocked it.............
http://wfla.com/2016/03/08/alimony-refo ... -governor/
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:12 pm

IS FLORIDA’S GOVERNOR SCOTT MAKING ALIMONY REFORM POLITICAL AGAIN?

TALLAHASSEE, FL – 25 Mar, 2016 – Florida’s alimony laws were written in the 1800’s and do not relate to today’s complexities – so, every one’s having a heyday – the lawyers representing alimony payers and recipients have lots of litigation and billable hours – the judges get to “judge” what they want as the law is so vague and in some cases they completely ignore the law on the books – and the alimony recipients are cashing their alimony checks and heading to the beach.

Under Florida’s alimony law, “durational” alimony makes sense as the alimony receiver and payer have a defined termination date.

However, one of Florida’s many alimony problems is “permanent” alimony – a lifetime sentence.

And, no matter what, it better be paid – even if you lose your job, retire, or get sick.

If you stop paying alimony, no matter how legitimate your reason is for your inability to pay, you are declared to be in contempt of court and you go to jail; fair, I think not.

Under Florida’s lifetime alimony, the “ex” lives in hiding and will never remarry, because the remarriage would cause alimony payments to stop.

Also, if you pay alimony to an “ex” (the first wife) and you get remarried, your first wife is now entitled under Florida law to receive some of your new spouse’s income – as the new spouse’s income increases your ability to pay.

So, most alimony payers do what alimony receivers do – they never get remarried and simply cohabitate with someone who they would have married if it wasn’t for the alimony laws in Florida.................
http://www.pressreleaserocket.net/is-fl ... in/427729/
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Re: Florida Alimony Reform

Post by Skitz » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:05 pm

Rick Scott Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=366#p965


Lake Wales alimony change advocate not surprised by veto
http://www.theledger.com/article/201604 ... ed-by-veto


Florida Gov. Rick Scott Ignores Families, Protects Disastrous Divorce Law
http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/18/flo ... vorce-law/


FL Governor Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill That Would Have Helped Families and Small Business
http://cnsnews.com/commentary/hans-bade ... -and-small


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