Florida Bill To End Permanent Alimony Goes To Governor

Amidst heated debate on both sides of the issue, the Florida Legislature sent a divorce reform bill to the governor that would cap alimony payments. The bill (SB 118) was recently approved by the House and had been approved by the Senate earlier in the month. It incorporates changes in divorce law that would eliminate permanent alimony in certain cases and would implement several other changes when factoring in alimony payments.

According to NorthEscambia.com, the bill would make alimony payment subject to a tiered system based on the length of a marriage. The legislation now before the governor would make it more difficult for a woman (or man) to receive alimony if the marriage lasted less than 11 years. For couples ending longer-term marriages, permanent alimony payments could still be a viable option. The bill considers 11-19 years a moderate-term marriage, 20 years or more is considered a long-term marriage.

Those who support the bill say that it is fair and would take the gamesmanship out of divorce. Rep. Elizabeth Porter (R-Lake City) said, “You shouldn’t be paying a lifetime of servitude on a short-term marriage.”

Those opposing the bill see it as “anti-woman” and express concerns that it will especially hurt women who have given up careers to stay at home and who now do not have the job skills necessary to quickly re-enter the job market.

“I shudder to think what this bill will do,” said Rep. Lori Berman (D-Lantana).

Now the ball is in Governor Rick Scott’s court. He has to sign the bill into law, veto it or let it pass automatically without his signature.

The Florida divorce attorneys at Farah & Farah understand that it is essential that your legal representatives keep abreast of changing laws and trends in divorce law. Divorce can be difficult – it can be especially difficult if the law firm you choose is uninformed and is not looking after your best interests. If you have questions about your divorce and how you should proceed, give us a call at (800) 533-3555 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.