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.”
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.