Florida alimony bill waits for governor & signature

The end of a marriage brings with it significant changes in terms of lifestyle, living arrangements and finances. One of the issues that often can cause contention for a couple going through a divorce is the subject of support for the ex-spouse. If a spouse has been dependent on the other spouse’s income for the length of the marriage, they may not have the ability to immediately enter into the workforce and thereby be able to support themselves.

In Florida, spouses can be granted alimony for life, but a new alimony bill passed by the Florida Legislature could change that dramatically. Opponents of the bill say that it is unfair to spouses, especially women, and will be asking Gov. Rick Scott to veto it. The bill appears to have been influenced by a change in alimony law in another state and will essentially eliminate the possibility of spouses being granted permanent spousal support.

Promoters of such legislation point out that eliminating lifelong alimony awards could assist people who are preparing to retire and are unable to because they are still paying alimony to an ex-spouse. It is unknown whether the governor will sign the bill or not into law.

Florida is not the only state considering such changes to traditional alimony laws but would become the second state to enact them. The bill also allows ex-spouses to petition the courts to renegotiate the terms of their spousal support agreement. Anyone who has questions or concerns about the possible changes the law proposes may find it beneficial to talk to an experienced attorney.

Source: Fox News, “Florida lawmakers move to end permanent alimony, as governor weighs legislation,” Joseph Weber, April 23, 2013

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