Jul. 22, 2014 3:55 pm
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Florida alimony law one step closer to being reformed

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15 comments:

  • Act of Courage posted at 10:53 pm on Sat, Apr 27, 2013.

    Act of Courage Posts: 1

    WLYB.....and who was against it .......The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar opposes both the measures.Thomas Duggar with the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar told members of the Senate panel that the bill would undo progressive alimony laws. No their bottom line would be effected. Truth be told.
    How about the Pensacola invasive cardiologist, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that it took him six years and $70,000 in attorney's fees to change a non-modifiable alimony agreement. During that time, he said, he paid $100,000 in alimony and it forced him out of retirement.
    As always FOLLOW THE MONEY
    Glen Gibellina

     
  • BRFL posted at 1:30 pm on Wed, Apr 10, 2013.

    BRFL Posts: 1

    Loftus said, "...if you have equal time sharing and now that presumed as part of this you don't get child support either."

    That is absolutely false. Even if equal time sharing is granted, the higher earning parent will still have to pay child support to the lower earning parent. It is true that the amount of child support would be reduced if time is shared equally, but it is unlikely for an existing custody arrangement to be changed simply because of this new law.

    Also, equal time sharing can only be granted if the two parents live near enough to each other so that the child's schooling and extracurricular activities won't be impacted in a negative way.

    The changes to alimony are needed and it's about time. This should have been done years ago. There is no reason a healthy person should need a lifetime of alimony income.

    Get off your rear end, learn new skills, and get a job. Plain and simple.

     
  • Scott S posted at 12:55 pm on Tue, Apr 9, 2013.

    Scott S Posts: 1

    PLEASE Email or Call your Florida House Representative and ask them to Pass Bill HB 231. Copy & paste the link below to find all the House Representatives contact info:

    http://flhouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

    **Also Please ACT NOW and sign the online petition to have Governor Scott sign Florida's Alimony Reform Bill! (Copy & Paste the link below).

    http://www.floridaalimonyreform.com/?utm_source=Petition+2%2C+Gov.+Scott&utm_campaign=House+Floor+Vote+Maybe+This+Week&utm_medium=email

     
  • Latrice Epps posted at 7:31 pm on Mon, Apr 8, 2013.

    Latrice Epps Posts: 1

    As a 42 yr old female who pays alimony, I agree the law needs to change. My ex left the home due to his porn addiction, he had a poor work ethic for the 22 yrs we were married & after years of abuse,failed marriage counseling twice, I am forced by the state to pay my abuser! With an injunction he's still able to email & harrass me,and yet I still get to pay him every month. He's legally blind, but his only disability is he can't drive, he finished online college with this disability & even with us subpena churches noting he had worked & not claimned the money- he still got alimony. There is a difference in being able to work and not able to work. Most who get alimony are able to work, theyare just are dependent on someone else because they will not grow up and take responsibilty for themselves. As adults it's part of being an adult, grow up and support yourselves! I worked fulltime and put myself thru nursing school with a child.. there is NO excuse! The law as is, is set up to let manipulators and people who lie & know how to work the system,get something for nothing. My ex gets half my pay per month and enjoys his days surfing the internet, playing golf, fishing and working under the table and all while collecting a check from Social security. There needs to be clear and concise laws for the Judges to follow instead of ruling by their own biasis, such as Judge LaRue did!

     
  • Fredding posted at 8:03 am on Mon, Apr 8, 2013.

    Fredding Posts: 3

    Most receivers of alimony are women. Gender feminist lobby for privilege for females in all area of the judiciary.

     
  • Fredding posted at 7:54 am on Mon, Apr 8, 2013.

    Fredding Posts: 3

    [smile][smile]

     
  • Fredding posted at 11:49 pm on Sun, Apr 7, 2013.

    Fredding Posts: 3

    Please support this bill. Permanent alimony is outdated and just outright wrong. The system is designed to create billable hours for the predatory family lawyer industry. This bill if it becomes law would not end alimony, just reform it.
    Young college educated men are not marrying in this day and age. The marriage rate is now the lowest that it has ever been in history. Young men are seeing how heavily biased the alimony and family laws and courts are against men and fathers. They are seeing this on the internet and personal accounts by their buy pals and family members.
    Please help and call your state senators and ask them to support alimony reform

     
  • Flalimony posted at 9:32 pm on Sun, Apr 7, 2013.

    Flalimony Posts: 1

    I applaud the changes and the wonderful legislators that have worked hard on this bill. I disagree that the legislators are not familiar with this bill.

    I was married 15 years and I pay permanent alimony. I paid over 50% of my salary to her even though she made twice the amount I did. I applaud the limits. After elleven years of alimony I can finally see an end.

     
  • Terry Power posted at 8:36 am on Sun, Apr 7, 2013.

    Terry Power Posts: 1

    Thank you for your coverage of this issue, WWSB.

    The struggle of thousands of Florida families to finally get consistent guidelines, fairness, and - when necessary - prudent judicial discretion to deal with unique cases such as Ms. Greenspan's is almost over (incidentially, she'd be entitled to at least 14 years of alimony under the new law....perhaps even more....so nobody's being thrown out on the street).

    Alimony Reform is a bipartisan, gender-neutral effort that impacts families across the state. With women becoming a larger percentage of the higher income workforce, we see payments of "manimony" to a lower-earning ex-husbands growing at a dramatic rate across the country.

    Senate Bill SB718, sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and House Bill HB231, sponsored by Representative Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne) will help to reign in these all too common divorce attorneys who make a great living for themselves by preying on the misery of families in crisis. This is why the divorce attorney lobby is going all out to try to stop this bill. It's all about the money stream that is generated from never-ending litigation.

    The new law will also effectively take the children out of the equation as a "bargaining chip for money" in a divorce. As a permanent alimony payer who has full custody of our son, I know all too well the games that get played in Family Court. And they have to end.

    It's going to be a great law once the Governor signs it in a few weeks.

    Terrance Power
    Family Law Reform Core Committee Member
    Clearwater, FL

     
  • Elvina Bergmann Kallett posted at 2:45 pm on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    Elvina Bergmann Kallett Posts: 1

    I strongly urge all to be in favor of the bills to abolish permanent alimony! At the conclusion of a divorce both parties should walk away in an equitable manner. Prior to the marriage they were individuals with separate lives, during marriage they merged, and upon divorce they should be allowed to return to their separate lives. One should not leave the marriage permanently tethered to the other. One should not reap the benefits of a free lifetime of alimony, while the other spends a lifetime wearing a financial yoke. By providing permanent alimony, Florida’s law today does just that. The current law rewards one spouse at the expense of the other. It took two people to make the marriage, and two people to make the divorce. In Florida, a no-fault divorce state, the permanent alimony provision certainly runs counter to the fairness and equality that is the spirit of the law, punishing the person forced to make lifetime alimony payments. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It needs to change!

    My husband married right out of college to a college-educated classmate. They were together for 20 years and raised 2 kids who were teens when they divorced 8yrs ago. Against his wishes, she voluntarily abandoned her human resources executive career, promising to return to work when the children entered elementary school. She didn’t. Now, he is saddled with paying lifetime alimony of $48,000/year. He can’t change jobs or pursue new avenues that might give him more satisfaction at less salary. He has to pay the ex for life regardless! She, on the other hand, is able to live a lesbian life (her coming out of the closet was the reason for the divorce!), travel at leisure when the mood strikes her, and can pursue whatever “job” she wants when she wants (which is never!), all courtesy of the “salary” provided her by alimony. She received the marital home in the Tampa-Carrollwood area which he nearly fully paid off. He fully paid for the private schools and college tuitions for both children. He paid for both children’s orthodontics, domestic and international trips, summer camps, set up two substantial accounts for the kids, and car insurance premiums. He even paid for the roof on the marital home two years after the divorce. He voluntarily paid for all these extras above and in addition to the court-ordered alimony and child support. He believed the ex was preparing to return to work and promised him she’d no longer accept his alimony. That never happened.

    I find it unfathomable that in 2013 permanent alimony law exists. Maybe (and I say that only half believing it possible) at one time the permanent alimony law made sense, but now, in my husband’s situation especially, it makes no sense. His ex-wife was in her 40s, healthy, and a summa cum laude four year college graduate at the time of the divorce. She could have pursued a career and provided for herself. Many single women survive and prosper in our society. Why was she given an easier road upon divorce than my husband? Why should my husband have to make lifetime payments? Why is she treated with kid gloves and given a lifetime of free income while my husband must earn a salary and provide for a woman who is no longer in his life? Laws are supposed to provide justice. The current alimony laws do not. We deserve a life of our own, free from the ex-wife.

    Stop permanent alimony and implement more equitable divorce laws. Alimony should be based upon circumstances, need, and length of marriage. There should certainly be a term limit. Lifetime alimony needs to end now. It is for the good of Florida and its families.

     
  • Lee Kallett posted at 1:58 pm on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    Lee Kallett Posts: 3


    Watch my video alimony story by going to www.floridaalimonyreform.com There are other stories there as well.
    Elvina and Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL - Pays lifetime alimony to woman unable to remarry
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l523XAgv_vc

    Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL - Pays $4K in permanent alimony to lesbian ex-wife
    www.youtube.com
    This is Lee Kallett and Elvina Kallett. He pays permanent alimony to a woman who left the marriage because she chose to live a lesbian

     
  • Lee Kallett posted at 12:13 pm on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    Lee Kallett Posts: 3

    I support the passage of SB 718/HB 231 as they go a long way towards reforming our State’s outdated, unjust, and ultimately unfair alimony laws. Our legislators listened to their constituents and the people of Florida and not the misinformation and propaganda spread by the Family Law Section or other special interest groups with vested interests in preserving the status quo.

    I am a greater Tampa Bay resident caught up in the injustice of the current alimony laws. I was betrayed by my wife after 20 years of marriage when she came out of the closet, declared herself a lesbian, acknowledged she’d always been one, and became active in the gay community. Divorce followed in Hillsborough County and the no-fault State of Florida sentenced me to a lifetime of alimony payments. There was no opportunity to present the reason for the divorce in court and the judge rewarded my ex-wife with permanent spousal support. She was in her 40s, a summa cum laude college graduate and quite capable of providing for herself had she the incentive to do so. Awarding her lifetime alimony removed any such incentive. Instead, she chose to abandon her executive human resources career, opting to live off the $4,000 monthly alimony to pursue her hobbies. I, conversely, must work to support the ex-spouse, leaving only minimal funds to pursue my own life and provide for my new wife and family and our widowed elderly mothers. I am by no means wealthy, have my own health issues, and find myself forced into a lifetime of indentured servitude.
    The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar is opposed to this bill and continues spreading misinformation about both the bill and the current divorce and alimony law in what can only be viewed as a selfish attempt to preserve their own litigation-derived income. There is no other reason to oppose alimony reform. They assert this bill will be devastating to families and this is absurd. The families in question were already devastated when the divorce occurred. It is the current laws that further devastate the parties afterwards by bleeding one while encouraging dependency in the other. The new bill does not in any way alter child support responsibilities so children’s welfare remains protected and provided for.
    The FLS claims the bill is anti-women and this is also completely untrue. Indeed, there are women paying lifetime alimony too, in some cases to men who abused them! Florida’s antiquated alimony laws date from an era when women were less educated and not expected to support themselves. Times have changed and single and divorced women are educated, trained, gainfully employed and financially independent.
    The FLS claims the existing law already provides for termination of alimony when the obligor reaches retirement age. Like their other allegations, this is patently false and obviously self-serving. While the current law may provide the right to hire a lawyer (likely a member of the FLS!) and seek modification of alimony at retirement age, it does not end alimony payments nor does it assure a reduction in the amount being paid. Many alimony payers cannot afford or even think of retiring and will have to work until the day they die!
    While the bill provides for retroactively reviewing and re-hearing previous divorce settlements and possibly ending or modifying alimony, it does not call for the immediate termination of all previous alimony awards. If an alimony recipient can prove a clear need for alimony, the payments would continue. The bill does, however, call for abolition of permanent alimony and the establishment of specific guidelines on how long alimony should be paid.
    Divorce shouldn't carry a lifetime penalty to one party for the benefit of the other. When a couple divorces, separation of lives should follow. The State of Florida is in effect penalizing me for a failed marriage caused by the deception and sexual identity issues of my former spouse. I am tethered for life to my gay ex-wife. Alimony Reform is needed to remedy this situation.

    - Alimony should provide for a transition to a new life and not permanently fund that new life
    - Alimony should be awarded based on need with established guidelines
    - Alimony and its length should be determined via a formula and not the whim of a judge
    Alimony reform is fair. It’s what the people want and it’s the right thing for the State of Florida and its families.

     
  • TinaV posted at 11:06 am on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    TinaV Posts: 1

    Awesome news for Florida residents!
    WOOT WOOT! The Florida Senate Bill 718 has passed, now its time for the House Bill-HB231 to pass! Please make sure this gets the attention needed in Fla to quickly pass! It will finally offer relief in so many ways to so many different lives! I happen to come on both sides on the track....
    I fled from an abusive situation years ago and never received more than $157 from my ex...I raised 3 children alone and put myself through school (all 3 kids were under age 3 when I started school)... using every resource available in my area! I didn't get alimony and I didn't get child support (it was ordered but never paid)....Was it hard? Yes it was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through....but that made the finish line all the more sweet! I can't stand the excuses people make today...they are ridiculous! They don't help themselves because they are not FORCED to! They choose the path of least resistance....and why not? It's all handed to them! I have two sons who are now serving in the US Army and have both been to Afghanistan (one is still there)...and my daughter is a nurse. WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY!
    I am now with a loving, God fearing man who happens to be in the midst of an awful divorce...we can't marry because the ex and her attorney are trying to use my income to help pay her more money! I had to move out of my own home that he and I made just so that wouldn't happen! She cheated on him and covered it up for 4 years and then said she wasn't sorry! She has been awarded almost $2200/mo for two kids and alimony....and he struggles to make ends meet AND the ex refuses to allow him 50% custody which he's entitled to! The ex has continued to make attempts at alienating his kids...There's been no abuse in this situation whatsoever! (except the abuse done to him by the family court system and his ex)....how is that justice? What message does that send his kids? That's its ok for his daughter to cheat in a relationship cuz she's gonna get it all anyway? And his son? That he has to bend over and take it? No way!!
    Please please please! I urge all Florida Residents to write to your House Reps and the Governor to ensure the laws are finally updated and not kept ancient!

    Thanks and GOD BLESS!!

     
  • kylesarasmom posted at 9:27 pm on Fri, Apr 5, 2013.

    kylesarasmom Posts: 1

    What this article fails to mention is that many women and men who get permanent alimony are college educated. Why should someone who is educated and capable be paid by their ex-spouse for life? Another missing component in this article is there are many people receiving lifetime alimony that never had children. At divorce marital assets are split, so why should the payer now have to use their half to continue to support someone who is capable of working but just doesn't want to?

     
  • Hector posted at 8:25 pm on Fri, Apr 5, 2013.

    Hector Posts: 1

    HB 231 has NOT cleared the House. Please correct your article.

    The current alimony laws in Florida are definitely ANTI-marriage and ANTI-family. I must provide a paycheck to my ex-wife so she can enjoy the money with her boyfriend before I can pay for my kids' college tuition. The current laws allow a person in their 30's to receive permanent alimony for life. The current laws encourage people receiving permanent alimony to cohabitate for years and not get married. The current alimony laws discourage both parties of a divorce (especially the receiver of alimony) to better themselves professionally. Why would someone getting a FREE paycheck for life want to improve his/her life? The current laws put good, caring, and responsible people like myself in dire financial situations where they MUST support the ex-spouse before they can support their children. My children and I have suffered due to the current alimony laws!

    As long as permanent alimony is allowed by the statute and is awarded by judges, family attorneys like the ones quoted in this article have a continued stream of income that never ends due to the endless legal battles between the ex-spouses. When an ex-spouse loses his/her job, the ex-spouse has to file for a modification in court. When the children reach legal age, the alimony receiver usually files for a modification to get more alimony because the child support has ended. When the alimony receiver starts cohabitating, the alimony payer files for a modification to try to get the alimony reduced (even though it rarely gets reduced). And on and on the scenarios are endless and they continue forever because permanent alimony is forever until one of them dies or the alimony receiver re-marries (which rarely happens).

    Representative Gaetz, who is an attorney (but does not practice Family Law), said it best when he stated, "The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, .....they are a special interest group.... They have an interest in making sure that these things are not systematized and not just objectively equitable. Their incentive is to ensure that people still need family law lawyers. " That statement explains why the FLS and attorneys like these are against alimony reform.