Former spouses saddled with perpetual alimony payments, rejoice.
The Florida Legislature is here to help.
On Thursday, the House passed a contentious bill that would end permanent alimony payments, and enable the courts to modify some existing arrangements between ex-spouses. The proposal would also require judges to give divorced parents equal custody of their children, unless there were extraordinary circumstances.
Gov. Rick Scott has not indicated if he will sign the bill, which would not eliminate alimony but put limits on it. The bill passed the Senate by a 29-11 vote earlier this month.
But the governor is certain to hear from alimony payers and recipients, many of whom lent their pointed opinions and personal stories to one of the session’s most emotional debates.
“Signing this bill is the right thing to do,” said Alan Frisher, who co-founded a non-profit organization called Family Law Reform after his divorce a decade ago. “It is going to bring predictability to the law and help families.”
Family lawyers, however, plan to ask for a veto.
“We don’t consider this legislation in the best interest of children and families,” said Carin Porras, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who chairs the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. “People have made financial decisions presuming that they would receive alimony. To change that would be unfair.”