Our readers likely remember the post written on the controversy over an alimony bill passed by the Florida legislature which would have ended the practice of awarding lifetime spousal support and allowed the courts to change existing agreements. Many felt that it was time for the state to follow the example of four other states that have passed similar bills while others felt that it would put older women who go through a divorce and divorcees at a distinct disadvantage.
Apparently, Gov. Scott agreed with those opposing arguments because he has vetoed the bill. If passed, the bill could have had a direct impact on several women in Florida and may have even pushed some older women into financial difficulty. One woman had given up a potential medical career to raise her children but because her marriage lasted only 17 years, she would have found herself in a difficult position financially if the governor had signed the bill into law.
However, the veto doesn’t mean that alimony reform will go away. There is already talk that the bill could reappear in 2014 and many are concerned over what will happen to older women and retirement. These women could especially be at risk because of the fact that they are often too old to start a new career and many are trying to provide for grandchildren.
While this dispute is estimated to continue, it would be a good idea for lawmakers to carefully consider the lives that such a bill will affect and then create a solution that could work for everyone. Anyone going through a divorce and concerned about their rights and their future security may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney.
Source: Herald-Tribune, “Alimony bill veto brings relief, outcry,” Barbara Peters Smith, May 3, 2013