Florida alimony bill vetoed by governor

Gov. Scott recently vetoed an alimony reform bill that in Florida for reasons that many people found to be significant and important for divorced and divorcing couples. The bill's intent was to make changes to the alimony laws that many people find outdated, which may not fully take into account societal changes, wage-earner status, and other factors.

A primary concern about the bill surrounded the requirement for equal custodial time with minor children. The governor noted that it would have a big effect on the child support that couples were paying and collecting, and could have a negative impact on financial status.

Similar legislation was proposed in 2013

The retroactive nature of a similar bill, which reached the governor's desk in 2013, was problematic for many who had been either paying or collecting alimony for some time. When a bill is retroactive, it can have far-reaching consequences for a number of people, all of which may end up experience negative consequences.

Some opponents of current alimony laws feel that alimony is an outdated concept that should be removed entirely, because men and women no longer have such a gap in who earns a living in most cases. However, there are times when alimony is appropriate, and because of that, the likelihood that alimony laws will be abolished entirely is arguably next to zero.

Are changes yet to come? Probably

Changes to the law may be coming, though, and they would have likely come through these recently vetoed bills if it were not for the retroactive nature of the first one and the child custody provision of the most current option, according to Gov. Scott.

Future bills in the state of Florida will have to find a different way to handle the alimony and custody question if they are going to have a chance of clearing the governor's desk. While the most recent bill was not retroactive, indicating that lawmakers had heeded the governor's warning about that issue, the child custody provision was still too much to accept.

What can you do now?

Overall, Florida might not a deeply "progressive" state when it comes to alimony and child support, but that does not mean a person living there cannot get a fair deal when they divorce their spouse. Especially when there are minor children, it is vital that both parties and their attorneys work together within the confines of the law to create an alimony and child support structure that works best for everyone.

With the right attorney, it is possible for both spouses and their children to end up with a financial and custodial agreement that is appropriate and works well, reducing stress and helping ensure peace of mind, even during a divorce.

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