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Push for alimony changes continues

Those in Florida who are attempting to change alimony laws faced a setback with the vetoing of a proposed law by the governor, but they have not given up the fight to change how spousal support is handled in the state. Alimony tends to be a point of contention during divorce because few people want to pay their ex after it has gone through. Still, there are very valid reasons why alimony was developed.

In the not-too-distant past, if a woman divorced, many believed she would have little to no way of supporting herself. Some thought that if a divorced woman entered the workforce, she would have trouble finding a job, especially one that paid enough to get by. Therefore, men were obligated to ensure that these women were taken care of financially. However, a women's primary role in marriage is no longer automatically that of a homemaker, and women now make up approximately 50 percent of the workforce. As women have become increasingly able to fend for themselves, men, and even some women, believe laws related to spousal support need to be reviewed.

Florida is a state that can still require lifelong spousal support. If someone has been married for 10 years, they may end up paying alimony until their death. Additionally, if someone's income drops, such as when they retire, judges are not always willing to make adjustments to court-ordered alimony decrees.

Going through a divorce can be difficult, especially when asset division and alimony can have such long-term financial impacts. A lawyer could help someone understand how the law will affect them and represent their interests in court if necessary.

Source: WUSF, "Despite Gov. Scott", Jennifer Ludden, May 28, 2013