Vetoed Bill Marks The Future of Potential Alimony Reform in Florida

In April of last year, the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, vetoed a bill that would have ended permanent alimony in the state. According to Fox News, Scott signed the bill just four hours before it would have automatically become law and making Florida the fifth state in the nation to end permanent alimony.

The governor stated that he decided to veto this bill because alimony provides support to families after they have underwent significant and oftentimes uncertain changes in their lives. In addition to this, if this bill had become law, it would have tampered with the financial expectations of many that had already had an alimony agreement devised and in place.

The Impact on Payers and Receivers

Although this bill was vetoed by the governor, lawmakers in the state are already starting to revise this piece of legislation for lawmakers to consider in 2014, says the Sun Sentinel. Some of the key changes being considered to include in this new piece of alimony legislation may include:

  • A reduction in payments when the divorcees reach retirement.
  • Changes in the way that child custody is awarded. An automatic reduction in payments if an ex-spouse takes a lower paying job or becomes unemployed.
  • The way in which alimony is calculated.

Under the implementation of alimony reform, both those receiving alimony payments and those required to pay alimony will be impacted. For example, among a divorced couple, the ex-spouse that makes a higher wage may not be required to pay alimony. For the individual receiving alimony payments, the amount that they receive in alimony payments could be based on the duration of their marriage.

What women should know about alimony reform Although alimony reform would have an impact on both payers and receivers, women should be especially aware of these new laws. Women should do whatever they can to protect themselves financially before they marry and after their marriage is finalized. This may come in the form of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement and talking to their spouse openly about finances to determine what assets will be considered marital property and which will be considered individual property. This is especially important if a woman decided to stay home with her children while the husband worked during the course of their marriage. If you are concerned about the amount of alimony you will receive post-divorce or are worried about your financial future after your divorce is finalized, contact an attorney that can work with you throughout the entire process to ensure your rights are protected.