Alimony reform advocates retooling legislation

TALLAHASSEE — — Permanent alimony soon may be a thing of the past for Floridians who get a divorce.

Florida lawmakers are looking into rewriting the state’s comprehensive divorce law, which some critics call archaic.

Some other key changes being considered include:

• Seeking a reduction in payments when divorcees retire

• Automatic payment cuts if an ex-spouse loses a job or takes a salary reduction.

• Changing the way child custody is awarded.

• How to calculate alimony.

“Both sides agree that additional reform is necessary,” said Alan Frisher, a Melbourne-basedfinancial adviser who heads the group Florida Alimony Reform and has been pressing for legislation for two years.

Though there have been minor changes over the years, critics say Florida law is antiquated and based on a time when most women stayed home to care for the family, giving up their earning potential. That has left some ex-spouses paying alimony for years and made it difficult for people to move on with their lives, plan for retirement and possibly re-marry.

Last spring, the Legislature passed legislation that would have ended permanent alimony, capped awards based on a person’s income and the length of the marriage, and let the ex-spouse petition to terminate or lower alimony payments upon retirement. But it also allowed the paying spouse to reopen his or her divorce case and seek retroactive changes to an alimony judgment.

Written by Kathleen Haughney. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com

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