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Florida alimony bill vetoed by governor

It is likely that this past spring there were many individuals in the state of Florida who were closely watching the alimony overhaul bill that would have dramatically changed the way the spousal support payments were handled in the state of Florida. Known as SB 718, the legislation made it all the way to the desk of governor Rick Scott before it was vetoed.

According to supporters of the bill it was designed to bring the laws regarding divorce up to date with today's society. As information recently released regarding the number of women who are now family breadwinners illustrates, times have changed since the development of the laws currently in place.

Those who did not support the bill feared that women who had, as the result of an agreement with their husbands, stayed home with their children, be disadvantaged. This is in large part due to a portion of the bill that made modifications easier for the alimony payer to obtain.

Had the bill become law it would have done several things including:

  • Make it easier for someone who retired to either lower the or terminate alimony payments to one's ex-spouse
  • End permanent alimony
  • Provide parents of young children equal custody
  • Use the length of the marriage and income information to cap the amount of alimony awarded

The governor indicated that there was at least one portion in particular of the bill that he was unable to support. He took issue with the part that dealt with retroactivity.

Depending on one's situation, alimony may be a part of the divorce discussion. Because these regular payments can have a great impact on all parties involved, most find that it is best to work with a lawyer who handles such matters.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Scott vetoes controversial alimony overhaul bill," Donna Gehrke-White and Kathleen Haughney, May 2, 2013

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