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Florida alimony laws may be changing

Proponents of changing alimony laws in Florida are getting closer to reaching that goal. The alimony reform bill has passed two House committees and a committee in the Senate in the state capitol, indicating that the bill is getting closer to becoming law. The implications of passing the bill are significant as existing alimony settlements may be reworked.

The current laws in Florida allow alimony in certain circumstances. The court weighs several factors before awarding alimony, including the length of the marriage, level of education and earning power of each spouse. Current laws allow for a permanent award for alimony. The proposed bill would set stricter guidelines and end permanent alimony. The representative who is backing the bill believes that it is time to change the alimony structure because the family structure has changed over time. Opponents to the bill believe that the changes would prevent parents from staying home to raise their kids.

A stream of divorced men provided testimony in front of lawmakers lamenting the financial effects of alimony on them. The bill has been amended a few times and may continue to be amended in order to gain increasing support. Since the bill has passed committees in the House and one in the Senate, it may be ready for a floor vote by the end of March 2013.

Alimony laws can have a significant impact on both spouses. If the laws change, Florida residents may need more information about how the changes will affect their divorce settlement. In this situation, a spouse may wish to consult with a family law attorney to learn more about their legal rights.

Source: WCTV.tv, "Alimony Reform Moving Through Committees," Whitney Ray, March 14, 2013

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