New Florida Alimony Laws Could Mean a Return to Court for Divorcees
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 23, 2012 - Laws that have the potential to dramatically change how alimony is awarded in Florida are working their way through the legislature in Tallahassee this season.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to hear testimony at the end of January from members of Florida Alimony Reform. Proponents of alimony reform say the current laws are draconian and reflect a mid-20th century approach to divorce in a 21st century world.
“The proposed changes to Florida’s alimony rules will certainly make a dramatic difference in how much money one spouse can expect from the other and for how long,” said Brandon divorce attorney Joshua Law. “This legislation would change the landscape considerably.”
Reform advocates hope to place limits on the amount and the length of alimony awarded in divorce cases. They also want to change the rules about cohabitation so people collecting alimony would lose it when they moved in with someone else. As the law stands today, alimony is usually only taken away after a former spouse gets remarried, so many simply do not get remarried so they can still collect.
“Some proposals in the new law would allow people who had crippling alimony judgments in the past to be able to come back to court and ask for a new decision that has an end date,” Law said. “So many people walk away from court hearings with a lifetime award. Many cannot even retire at a decent retirement age.”
If passed, the new legislation could allow people to introduce the income and assets of their former spouse’s new partner for the purpose of reconsidering alimony payments.
“Divorcees who think the lifetime alimony they have been paying to their former spouse is unfair should keep their eye on this legislation,” Law said. “We may be able to go back to court and get a new judgment.”
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