Alimony Bill Is On the Governors Desk!
The new alimony bill is now on the governor’s desk awaiting signature. The governor has until April 19th to sign the bill or veto it. Republicans in the state legislature are hoping that this will be the bill that finally reforms Florida’s alimony rules after several failed attempts.
Part of the scramble has to do with an added section on the bill that has little to do directly with alimony. There is a child time-sharing clause that would require courts to presume that children will spend equal time with the parents before considering other factors. This could have profound effects on current and future child support payments. This portion of the bill has been hotly contested and the governor has expressed worries about that section of the bill.
House Rules Chairman Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne) attempted to try to separate the language out by adding the alimony portions of the bill to another family law bill. However, with the current legislative session about to run out it would have required substantial support in the house to take up the new variant. Workman abandoned the effort when he saw he couldn’t get a 2/3rds majority.
This isn’t the first time Florida Republicans have sent an alimony reform measure to the governor. An earlier bill was vetoed due to a part that would have reformed existing alimony payments retroactively. Critics say that the current bill could have the same effect because the new guidelines would apply to people seeking modifications if the bill passes.
We are watching this bill carefully as it will have profound effects on alimony in the State of Florida if it passes. For more information about the bill and its potential effects, please read our page on SB 668. If it passes, we will have more information about its full effects in future articles.