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.
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.
Couples marry, have children and raise them together. When the kids leave home, however, sometimes the parents find themselves staring at each other, wondering what they have in common. Increasingly, divorce follows. One parent might even have quit working or taken a huge pay cut to stay home with the children. He or she will now need to upgrade their expertise or change careers in this new season of life if they divorce. The spouses will have to go through property division first, dividing such assets as life earnings, such as savings, IRA accounts or real estate. One spouse will often be ordered to pay alimony during this time of transition. But in Florida, a judge can order alimony payments until the spouse who didn't work or made less money remarries or until one of them dies.
Ex-husbands have tried a lot of angles to get out of paying alimony but this case out of Maryland may have raised the bar for creativity. For 18 years, a man we will call Mr. N was told everyone that he was married to Mrs. L. Mrs. L was the beneficiary on his life insurance policy, he helped her gain permanent resident status by telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement that he was her husband, and in 1994 the couple participated in a "renewal of vows" ceremony in nearby Arlington, Virginia. Then, after 19 years of marriage, Mrs. L decided to call the marriage off. She filed the usual paperwork asking for alimony, division of property and child support. Mr. N's response: "I am unaware" of being married.
Infidelity has blown up more marriages than probably any other cause. Most people who catch their partner in the act find a divorce attorney before the "I can explain" makes it out of the cheater's mouth. But it's what the aggrieved partner does next that will make all the difference when the divorce process begins. The temptation is to go ballistic. Those who handle these kinds of cases counsel calm.