Sunday, October 27, 2019

Another Try In Florida

For years Florida has been trying to pass alimony reform into law. Several times a bill has made it through the legislature only to have it vetoed by Governor Rick Scott. A new effort is now underway.
On Thursday Boca Raton marital and family law attorney Alan Elkins, speaking for Florida Family Fairness, which annually spearheads alimony reform pushes, denounced permanent alimony as unfair, charging it creates a “culture of dependence” for those receiving it and a “life sentence” for payers. He contended that Florida’s guidelines are so broadly interpreted by individual judges that the questions of how much alimony should be paid, and for how long, vary tremendously from judge to judge, even within any given judicial circuit, and shouldn’t and needn’t do so.
Reform is being fought by a group of divorce lawyers which is unsurprising because anything that reduces inequity and pain in family court is certainly not in their financial interest.

Disappointingly The National Organization of Women (NOW), which once advocated agaisnt alimony as it perpetuated the view that women are inferior to men, is now advocating against any alimony reform. 

Although about 98% of alimony is paid by the man it is often the case there their second spouses pay alimony because legally once married they are obligated as well. I cannot marry the woman I am with because of this. If I became disabled or ended up with Alzheimer's, my new spouse would be required to pay alimony to Spring even through Spring left me, was not the primary care giver for the children and has never used a dime of her income for the children despite the employment evaluator stated she is able to make just as much money as me. Yes, that is how unfair it is.

There are a few case where alimony is paid for by women. One is cited in the article.
Alicia del Rey of Marion County, also representing Florida Family Fairness, turned traditional gender roles upside down when she spoke of how she’s being forced to pay permanent alimony to a man whom she said was an abusive and irresponsible husband who “squandered our assets” and has never been able to hold a job.
“I would have never imagined that I would be paying permanent alimony to my abuser ex-husband and be forced to pay him for the rest of my life,” she said, recalling how in 2011 she finally got the courage, after 30 years of marriage, to seek divorce. “Thus far I have paid this man over $41,000, the money I need to pay my mortgage, plan for retirement and fund my goal to go back to graduate school to provide a better life for myself and my family.”
“The most discouraging part is there is no end in sight, and I have no path that allows me to free this abusive ex-husband,” del Rey said.
I can only hope such stories will encourage those who oppose alimony reform to realize that the purpose of reform is to advance equality and justice for all regardless of gender.

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