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Advocates hope for Florida alimony reform

Advocates for Florida alimony reform are hoping to reintroduce a bill that would modify Florida's existing alimony laws. Advocates claim to have some sponsors in the legislature who will attempt to accomplish this goal; the bill was originally considered last year, but it languished in the Senate.

The sponsors include Rep. Ritch Workman and Sen. Kelli Stargel. Workman has issued a press release in which he states that the bill seeks to clarify the law and to ensure that it is fair to all parties. Advocates are hoping to make several changes to existing alimony laws, including removing the existence of permanent alimony and establishing retirement for individuals who pay alimony at the age for federal retirement as well as for individuals of the standard retirement age in professions that are categorized as high risk.

Another change that advocates seek is for the revised laws to prohibit using the income of a second spouse to increase alimony payments. Other changes include setting a formula that takes both spouses' incomes into consideration and instituting a "decreasing term" life insurance policy rather than a whole life insurance policy to make payments more affordable. Advocates also want these changes to be retroactive so that individuals who pay alimony can ask the court to reduce or terminate their payments.

An experienced family law attorney may be able to assist individuals who are seeking alimony. If alimony laws are changed, the family law attorney can explain how these changes may affect a person's alimony award.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Advocacy group lines up sponsors for new alimony reform bill," Paul Brinkmann, Jan. 13, 2013

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