A recent piece of legislation calling for dramatic changes to Florida alimony and child custody rules was recently shut down by Governor Rick Scott, despite having passed the Senate and the House. So where does that leave Florida residents going through a divorce or child custody dispute?
A Bill That Would Have Brought About Dramatic Changes
According to a recent article from Florida Politics, Bill SB 668 was extremely controversial. While the bill's initial intent was to reform alimony and allow for reduction in permanent alimony in certain circumstances, it was amended to include a requirement for 50-50 division of parenting time.
Many fathers' rights groups were in favor of the bill, saying that it would help them protect their relationships with their children in courtrooms that they allege favor mothers. Scott vetoed the bill on the basis that the law currently is designed to put the needs of the child first in divorce and child custody cases, whereas the new law would put an emphasis on the needs of the parents. He vetoed a similar bill in 2013.
One of the challenges of the bill was that these are two very distinct issues that were grouped into the same piece of legislation. One of the bill's creators, Ritch Workman, has vowed to take up these issues separately in the future.
What You Need To Know About Alimony And Child Custody
Florida law currently dictates that child custody is to be determined based on the best interest of the child. In some cases, that may very well be a 50-50 split of parenting time. In others, the balance may be tipped in order to meet the child's needs.
Alimony comes in five varieties in Florida. The new bill specifically targeted permanent alimony. Currently, alimony is never guaranteed in a divorce. The determination of whether or not a spouse will get one of the five types of alimony is based on a variety of factors, including length of marriage and income imbalances.
What is important is that people going through a divorce or child custody dispute choose an attorney with experience and knowledge of the law. At Stephen T. Holman, P.A., our attorneys will educate you about the law and help you pursue an outcome that works for you and your children.