Image

Alimony Reform in Florida is Dead

Florida legislators will not pursue alimony reform in 2014

In a stunning reversal of fortune, the Florida legislature dropped its consideration of alimony reform this session.

Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, and Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who passed an alimony bill last year only to see it vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott, said they will not press the issue in the 60-day session that began last Tuesday.”

In 2013, both houses of the Florida legislature passed a bill eliminating permanent alimony and sent it to Governor Scott to sign. Governor Scott vetoed the bill (four hours before it would automatically become law).

Why did the Florida legislature drop the issue

Cutting taxes will be the primary focus for this 60 day legislative session.

The bill sponsored by Workman and Stargel that passed the Florida legislature last year would have:

  • Ended permanent alimony
  • Reduced long-term alimony payments
  • Made it harder to get alimony in marriages of fewer than 11 years
  • Called for a 50-50 child custody sharing standard for divorcing couples

What does the future look like for meaningful alimony reform in Florida?

‘I agreed to sponsor alimony reform legislation because I believe we need a fair way to deal with this very emotional issue,’ Stargel said. ‘Even though 2014 will not be our year, I will continue to work on this important issue.’

Meanwhile, the Family Law section of The Florida Bar, which had opposed the 2013 alimony bill, said it would also continue its advocacy ‘to make sure protections are preserved for children and spouses who may be disproportionately injured by divorce,’ according to Elisha Roy, chair of the legal group.

‘We will remain consistent in our advocacy for a system of alimony laws that is sensitive to the unique qualities of every family situation and to resist any push toward a one-size-fits-all system with little or no judicial discretion,’ Roy said.”

Commentary

My hats are off to all the hard-working advocates of meaningful reform of Florida’s out-dated alimony laws. Keep fighting the good fight!

The source of this information was an article published in the Daily Commercial, “No Alimony Reform Expected in 2014.” Here’s one comment that says it all:

Thank you Governor Scott for protecting women [emphasis added] & children from a bill which would have been financially devastating to families.”

Our thanks to Lee Kallett for bringing this sad state of affairs to our attention.

Tags:

2 Responses to “Alimony Reform in Florida is Dead”

  1. Lee Kallett March 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    I post this to inform the public about the current antiquated alimony laws still in existence around the country. This is my alimony horror story. In the no fault divorce state of Florida, the ex had many adulterous affairs with other women (while pregnant with the second and last child) and including her incestuous relationship with her own 20 year old female cousin. In 2003 she formed Tampa Chaverot-Jewish Lesbians of Tampa Bay while we were still married. Then, she gets rewarded for all this and her changed sexual orientation with lifetime alimony in 2006 by the Hillsborough County Court (Tampa Case No: 05-DR-013627) and I get punished financially. How is this right and just? It certainly isn’t and the time to fix such an injustice is now. The duplicity continues and she blogs and writes as well as conducts her day to day life under an assumed last name, only using her legal last name on the driver’s license and to cash the hefty checks I write. If you are outraged about this avaricious hypocrite, please get involved to fight the unjust alimony laws around the country. There is no reason why a judge can’t order her to return to the workforce. She is a four year university graduate. The children are adults and no longer living in the home. There’s no reason why an able bodied, healthy, educated woman can’t be instructed by new law and guidelines to fully financially support herself. In a case similar to mine, a man paying lifetime alimony to his lesbian ex-wife had the alimony award overturned. A Minnesota court held that the “defendant’s post-decree lesbianism is a material change in circumstances which justifies the termination of alimony.” The case is Anonymous v Anonymous, 5 Fam.L Rptr. (BNA) 2127 (Minn.Dist.Ct.15 Nov 1978).
    This key point should be addressed in all proposed alimony reform legislation. Expanding the definition of “change in circumstances” beyond the financial to include a change in sexual orientation or gender will make the criteria more relevant to today.
    While the contemporary picture of marriage may be changing, here in Florida marriage remains between a man and a woman. Currently sexual reassignment surgeries are becoming more common place. Why should a spouse who believed they were marrying someone of the opposite sex, have to support that spouse who changes their gender or sexual orientation and redefines the marriage? The traditional marriage is broken through no fault of the other spouse. This is not like a couple who “fall out of love” or have grown tired of one another.
    Florida lawmakers should take into consideration this new reality and the changing landscape of marriage and reasons for divorce. Granting lifetime alimony to a spouse who changed sexual orientation or gender is absolutely an injustice. This needs to be stopped and such previous judgments overturned.
    Lifetime alimony affects the entire family and families are divided. Parental alienation occurs with the issue. The ex filed in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, in and for Hillsborough County, FL Case No: 13-11991 Division G and on August 21, 2013 the judge ruled for Order of Dismissal of Temporary Injunction for Protection “The evidence presented is insufficient under Florida law”. The ex-wife attempted in her demand to muzzle our alimony reform efforts. She even had our 18 year old son testify against me. My daughter also advocated against reform by visiting the Governor’s office. She was interviewed by media in this article. She provided a fake last name even though her legal last name is Kallett. http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/04/two-dozen-women-urge-scott-to-veto-alimony-bill.html
    Please support alimony reform. Paying lifetime alimony bitterly divides families. For more information and to join in advocating for guidelines and elimination of lifetime alimony please visit: florida alimony reform or family law reform• Elvina and Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays lifetime alimony to woman unable to remarry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l523XAgv_vc
    Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays $4K in permanent alimony to lesbian ex-wife http://www.youtube.com This is Lee Kallett and Elvina Kallett. He pays permanent alimony to a woman who left the marriage because she chose to live a lesbian

    • lawrence berezin March 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

      Dear Lee,

      I approved this comment because it contains helpful information of interest to our readers. On the other hand, it contains information that doesn’t belong in my blog. By saying this, I in no way diminish the nightmare you’ve suffered through; but what I read is your wife became a lesbian and you shouldn’t have to pay her any money.

      Economic horror stories related to the consequences of permanent alimony, or unjust alimony awards in general fan the winds of change. Telling me you pay $4k to a lesbian is not helpful.

      I published this post (this time) because I want everyone to know that Alimony reform is absolutely not dead in Florida…It’s temporarily on hold.

      On a personal note, you’ve gone through a nightmare. Kudos for directing your energy to changing the law.

      Best,
      Larry

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.