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Florida Alimony Bills Dead…Again

So it wasn’t even a month ago when I wrote my last blog, “It’s AhAhAlimony Reform Time in Florida (again!).” At the time,(which coincided with National Cereal Day) I ran through a brief history of the various alimony bills that faded off into the horizon over the past four years (including the election year where the politicians, afraid of scaring off a chunk of their constituency, didn’t even float a bill.)

I made a point of saying that I would not go into the specifics of the bill, or how it would potentially affect the divorcing public, until I see how the bills were progressing through the House and Senate.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, just last week, law makers in our capital, with deep sorrow, (well, maybe not that deep of sorrow) announced the death of alimony reform in Florida for the 2017 legislative session.
“Why this time?” you ask. According to the News Service of Florida, chairman of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs committee, Republican Rene Garcia of Hialeah, said, “We have more pressing issues that we’re dealing with as it relates to the safety and welfare of children than to tie up the committee with the alimony bill at this time.”

Hmmm, let’s think about that…but let’s not think too hard, because you don’t have to. Really, aren’t issues involving the safety and welfare of children going to be more pressing than coming up with a formula and ending “permanent” alimony as it is now structured? Well, a divorcing spouse with a 20 year marriage, whose spouse didn’t work for those 20 years may not really think the safety of children is more important. But seriously, there can always be an excuse to quash a bill. However, being a curious soul and contrary to my last writing, I did review the now-dead bills, and there were some valid points. What I found most compelling was that the bills did give the courts, and the family law attorneys who deal with these issues on a daily basis, some guidance, versus the “Wild West” of today’s alimony laws.

Okay, so not this year. But at some point, our elected official need to find the time to address all the issues of importance that come before them. After all, isn’t that why we elected them to begin with? In the meantime, today, April 5th is National Read a Roadmap Day. Remember those? They were those large paper sheets containing road, and landmarks and colored lines that were impossible to properly refold into their slim, fit in your palm-sized original state, that actually got us from point A to point B before some automaton, who tends to pronounce the names of streets wrong, did the job for us. So if you are disappointed with the death of the alimony bills, pull out your roadmap and head to Tallahassee, and tell your legislators what you think. Of course, it is much easier to just email them.

Florida alimony bill doesn’t make it out of committee

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