Florida Changing Alimony Laws
The Florida Legislature, comprised of quite a few lawyers and/or middle-aged men who pay alimony, is in the process of trying to change Florida's alimony laws. A recent bill working its way through the system would completely abolish permanent alimony, limit alimony to 50% of the duration of the marriage, and severely restrict Judges’ discretion on how to tailor such awards to each specific case. Permanent alimony is a rare thing in divorce court. However, the sponsors of this change seem to think that they are curing an evil that no one recognizes exists. The way this bill is written, it will probably be declared unconstitutional as it provides an avenue for someone who agreed to pay non-modifiable alimony to seek a modification. The bill also allows for splitting up cases so that the divorce order can be entered first and then subsequent hearings will occur to tidy things up.
Big mistake! Allowing litigants to conduct piecemeal hearings will only cause more expense and clog up an already overburdened system. Under the language proposed, parents could push through their actual divorce and worry about the children and child support later. Does this sound strange? It certainly does to me, as the legislature ought to be focusing on getting children issues resolved first and then let the parents battle it out.