TAVARES, FL – Dec 03, 2015 – Last month, a proposed bill for alimony reform, HB 455, passed the first Legislative Committee in Florida. It was not without debate and detractors. As a matter of fact, this session seems to have brought out many more citizens who are objecting to the proposed law.
The first category consists of women who feel that they gave up a large part of their lives to raise children. They feel they now may be aged out of the workforce and claim, as they have in the past, they are entitled to remuneration for their efforts in the home.
The non-profit organization, FloridaAlimonyReform.com agrees with this argument. However, we disagree with is how the time and amount of that remuneration is currently determined. Permanent alimony and the accompanying current law surrounding it is simply unfathomable in today’s economic society.
It puts an impossible financial burden on the PAYOR, allowing for a continued attitude of entitlement by the receiver. Under these adverse conditions, this can cause lifelong emotional devastation to the children of the divorcing spouses. Furthermore, the amounts that are being ordered as payment by the judiciary are inconsistent and have no predictability from one jurisdiction to the next.
Women have been the primary recipients of alimony for many years, so it’s no wonder why they are opposing a law that may stop their steady income stream. Interestingly, men are beginning to receive alimony as women become more dominant in the workplace and are now earning more than their husbands.
In either case, when RECIPIENTS of alimony read the proposed law, they would understand that the change in the law itself does not constitute a decrease or an elimination of their alimony income. It is only when a substantial change of circumstance occurs – one that allows for a reduction or elimination of alimony, and only after a ruling by the courts – will their alimony income be affected.
When RECIPIENTS do not read the proposed law, they act out of ignorance or fear of the unknown. This is something Florida legislators will not condone and will continue to vet the proposal to get what they consider to be fair results for all citizens.
The second category of those opposing our proposal is certain renegade attorneys who believe either that the law should remain as it is or that, at the very least, a study should be conducted to understand fully the problems before we decide how to deal with the issue. We disagree with the argument that a study is needed.
Current alimony law, like insidious cancer, is figuratively – and sometimes literally – killing our citizens, and causing irreparable damage to the family unit in our society.
For example, when doctors see a tumor, they typically cut it out before it grows or metastasizes. Sure, they can study it some more, but at what cost to the patient? They handle the situation as efficiently as possible, then follow up routinely to make certain they got it all. Similarly, outdated and dysfunctional alimony laws need to be “cut out” as soon as possible because they are harmful to our citizens.
The second reason a study is not necessary is because our legislators have already considered alimony reform for the better part of the 8 years that we have been working with them and the Family Section. Many of you will remember that initially, and for many years after that, the leaders of the Family Section stated that Florida had “among the most progressive alimony laws in the Nation.” They argued that there was no reason to change current law.
Florida Alimony Reform, as the largest alimony reform group in the Nation, with the help of many individuals in our membership, effectively educated our legislators that current law is financially self-serving to the litigating attorneys, at the expense of divorcing spouses and their families. Now, after 8 years of presenting testimony and many conversations, undergoing constant negotiations, and incorporating political-driven intervention, leaders of the Family Section of the Florida Bar have now agreed that not only is the change needed, it is expected.
The final reason a study is not necessary is because setting up a task force to study a problem that is obvious and in need of change is simply an overt and transparent attempt to maintain the status quo for those individuals – alimony recipients or litigating renegade attorneys – who personally benefit from the continued income allotted to them by current law. Many more years would be wasted in figuring out how to set it up and determining who would be a part of such a task force. That is not how our legislators envision fairness to our citizens.
We are absolutely for collecting appropriate data and information that will assist us in monitoring and amending the new law as necessary in future legislative sessions. No law is perfect, and we know that our proposed law will likely have judicial hiccups along the way. We will deal with those situations when they occur by understanding the rules and guidelines established by the courts, and presenting information to our legislators for amendments when necessary. Our first mission, however, is to set up a change in current law for alimony reform. We will then work on any amendments to that law.
WITH A NEW LAW IN PLACE
• We will eliminate the permanency of alimony and create realistic and comprehensive rules for when we can expect a modification or an ending to an alimony order.
• We will have much more consistency and predictability in court rulings, and that will help attorneys inform their divorcing clients, with some certainty, as to what to expect in court if they still choose to litigate. In turn, it is then believed that this new process will lead to less litigation and more mediation and collaboration for divorcing spouses.
• As a cause and effect, our children will benefit from better relationships with both parents.
TO ENSURE THAT THE NEW ALIMONY BILL PASSES:
1 – MAKE DONATIONS TO FLORIDA ALIMONY REFORM
At FixAlimony.com, you can donate any amount one time, make it recurring monthly, or mail a check in. Anyone donating more than $10,000 per year will have direct access to the Florida Alimony Reform board and politicians to provide direct feedback on your personal alimony challenges.
Florida Alimony Reform is the non-profit that invests funds to perform surveys, research, statistical analysis, and communicates alimony abuse to the citizens of Florida, the media, and in-person meeting with legislators in Tallahassee of Florida’s House and Senate committees, convincing them to vote to pass the new bill, which the process is expected to be completed by mid-2016.
2 – CONTACT FLORIDA’S LEGISLATORS – ON THE COMMITTEES FOR THE STATE OF FLORIDA’S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATE
– The more that legislators hear from Florida’s citizens, the apter they are to pass the new bill.
Before a bill is voted on by the state’s House of Representatives and Senators, their separate committees schedule public hearings for anyone to testify for, or against the bill. The hearings are broadcast live on The Florida Channel, which also provides a video library of the replays.
At the conclusion of each hearing, the committee votes on the bill, and the results are immediate. If the bill is not approved, it is dead – if it is approved, the bill moves on to the next committee.
After all committees in the House, and all committees in the Senate pass their separate bills, which may be slightly different, each of their bills go to the floors of the House and Senate for debate, and finally a vote.
Whichever completes a vote first, the House or Senate (as long as both vote favorably), that bill becomes the lead bill, and will be presented to the Governor for signature.
The Governor must sign it into law or veto it within a required timeframe. If neither occurs in time, the bill automatically becomes law.
Since the House of Representatives CIVIL JUSTICE SUBCOMMITTEE has already approved one of the alimony bills – please contact the members of these committees below which still have to vote. Please note that based on the contact information provided in these links, you may have to call, write or email:
• HOUSE – Judiciary Committee
• HOUSE – Appropriations Committee:
• SENATE – Judiciary Committee:
• SENATE – Appropriations Subcommittee:
• SENATE – The full Appropriations Committee:
3 – CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLITICIANS VOTING ON THE NEW BILL
Find your local politicians that represent you in the Florida House and Senate contacts at:
Please note that based on the contact information provided in the link, you may have to call, write or email.
4 – TRAVEL TO TALLAHASSEE TO TELL YOUR ALIMONY ABUSE STORY
To share your story with a committee, you must register at:
And track all 4 bills currently moving through the process. On this page, click TRACK THIS BILL in the top right corner of bill SB 250, and then register. Also, scroll down the page to gray horizontal bar that has the other three RELATED BILLS, and click the yellow icon called TRACK BILLS for each bill.
You will then receive email notices as each committee sets a hearing date. Unfortunately, committees only provide a 48-hour notice before the hearing. However, notice is usually provided sooner at Florida Alimony Reform.
WHY WE NEED YOU
We couldn’t have gotten this far without the financial assistance of our members. We have reached out to many of you for additional support over the years because it takes money to accomplish our goals.
Your financial support enables us to travel to Tallahassee and speak to our legislators.
It allows us to maintain our website; to help fund legislative campaigns; pay our Lobbyist, Administrator, Accountant, and PR people, as well as continue to participate in events where we can lobby for an actual progressive law that benefits not any self-serving group but our citizens.
This year will prove to be our most challenging because many more people recognize that there is a distinct movement toward actually changing current law. The people against reform can be loud – but, we must be louder.
We will be heading to Tallahassee numerous times this session to maintain our credibility and voice for reform. We need to show them that all of us – not just a few – are determined and that we expect them to act for change.
THANK YOU for your continued support and with everyone’s help, there may finally be a reform light at the end of this long legislative session tunnel.
Distributed by Press Release Jet
Company Name: Florida Alimony Reform
Contact Person: Gina Lavorina
Address:215 E. Burleigh Boulevard
Country: United States