Saturday, March 23, 2019

Florida Tries Again

Alimony reform in Florida has a long history. Of failure. But they do keep trying. A new bill has been introduced in the Senate in the seemingly annual attempt to make alimony more fair. 

Of interest in the article cited is the persistent but quite often false notion that the only people who receive permanent alimony  are those who  have stayed, "home for years to raise children". In my case, like many others, the spouse receiving alimony was not the one who was the primary parent during the marriage. (Although I am from Minnesota not Florida, our state laws are similar) 

The problem with alimony is mostly caused by the fact that it is awarded in unpredictable and inexplicable ways. There is no consistency. The exact same situation may result in no alimony with one judge but permanent alimony from another.  In Minnesota, we used to have the same situation with child support. However there is now a formula. You can argue, and many do, that the formula needs to be improved, but at least everyone knows what it is. 

With alimony it is a black box. Judges are allowed to make awards based on how well they know the litigants or lawyers, race, religion, campaign contribution they received or even whether they happen to be hung over on the day they rule. There is zero accountability. In fact no one even keeps track of what the alimony awards are.  This creates a situation that is not only ripe for corruption but bursting with it. 

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