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Workman: No alimony reform bill in 2014

Remember the controversial alimony reform bill that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed last session?

It won't be back this year.

The organization behind the proposal announced Thursday that there will be no new legislation filed during the 2014 session.

"I am beyond saddened that this bill will not become a reality," Family Law Reform President Alan Frisher wrote in a statement. "Our proposed bill was good legislation. It protected our citizens and corrected inconsistencies in Florida law."

In January, Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, told the Herald/Times that he was working on a proposal similar to the alimony bill he sponsored last year. The 2013 bill sought to eliminate permanent alimony, and capped payments based on salary and length of marriage.

But according to a news release issued Thursday, he and Senate sponsor Kelli Stargel have decided to focus instead on tax cuts.

"The legislature is dedicated to creating a broad based $500 million tax cut for Floridians this session," Workman said. "Such expansive efforts tend to consume a session. Hence, I feel this is not the year for in depth reform."

The bill likely fell victim to election-year politics.

Its passage in the House and Senate infuriated women's groups in 2013. Observers at the time speculated that Scott's veto was an attempt to win over female voters. The governor still needs their support heading into November.

At least one group welcomed the news: the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar.

The group fought the proposal last year.

"We will remain consistent in our advocacy for a system of alimony laws that is sensitive to the unique qualities of every family situation and to resist any push toward a one-size-fits-all system with little or no judicial discretion," said the chair, Elisha D. Roy.

Barbara DeVane, of the National Organization of Women, said she, too, was delighted. 

"I'm very pleased that Ritch Workman finally saw the light," she said.

 

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Lee Kallett

It was wrong of Governor Scott to have vetoed the alimony reform bill four hours before it would have automatically become law.


I post this to inform the public about the current antiquated alimony laws still in existence around the country. This is my alimony horror story. In the no fault divorce state of Florida, the ex had many adulterous affairs with other women (while pregnant with the second and last child) and including her incestuous relationship with her own 20 year old female cousin. In 2003 she formed Tampa Chaverot-Jewish Lesbians of Tampa Bay while we were still married. Then, she gets rewarded for all this and her changed sexual orientation with lifetime alimony in 2006 by the Hillsborough County Court (Tampa Case No: 05-DR-013627) and I get punished financially. How is this right and just? It certainly isn't and the time to fix such an injustice is now. The duplicity continues and she blogs and writes as well as conducts her day to day life under an assumed last name, only using her legal last name on the driver's license and to cash the hefty checks I write. If you are outraged about this avaricious hypocrite, please get involved to fight the unjust alimony laws around the country. There is no reason why a judge can't order her to return to the workforce. She is a four year university graduate. The children are adults and no longer living in the home. There's no reason why an able bodied, healthy, educated woman can't be instructed by new law and guidelines to fully financially support herself. In a case similar to mine, a man paying lifetime alimony to his lesbian ex-wife had the alimony award overturned. A Minnesota court held that the “defendant’s post-decree lesbianism is a material change in circumstances which justifies the termination of alimony.” The case is Anonymous v Anonymous, 5 Fam.L Rptr. (BNA) 2127 (Minn.Dist.Ct.15 Nov 1978).
This key point should be addressed in all proposed alimony reform legislation. Expanding the definition of "change in circumstances" beyond the financial to include a change in sexual orientation or gender will make the criteria more relevant to today.
While the contemporary picture of marriage may be changing, here in Florida marriage remains between a man and a woman. Currently sexual reassignment surgeries are becoming more common place. Why should a spouse who believed they were marrying someone of the opposite sex, have to support that spouse who changes their gender or sexual orientation and redefines the marriage? The traditional marriage is broken through no fault of the other spouse. This is not like a couple who "fall out of love" or have grown tired of one another.
Florida lawmakers should take into consideration this new reality and the changing landscape of marriage and reasons for divorce. Granting lifetime alimony to a spouse who changed sexual orientation or gender is absolutely an injustice. This needs to be stopped and such previous judgments overturned.
Lifetime alimony affects the entire family and families are divided. Parental alienation occurs with the issue. The ex filed in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, in and for Hillsborough County, FL Case No: 13-11991 Division G and on August 21, 2013 the judge ruled for Order of Dismissal of Temporary Injunction for Protection "The evidence presented is insufficient under Florida law". The ex-wife attempted in her demand to muzzle our alimony reform efforts. She even had our 18 year old son testify against me. My daughter also advocated against reform by visiting the Governor's office. She was interviewed by media as in this article. She provided a fake last name even though her legal last name is Kallett. http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/04/two-dozen-women-urge-scott-to-veto-alimony-bill.html
Please support alimony reform. For more information and to join in advocating for guidelines and elimination of lifetime alimony please visit: florida alimony reform or family law reform• 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

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