The Debate on Lifetime Spousal Support Continues
A bill that recently made its way through Florida’s legislature, only to be vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott at the final hour, highlights the growing debate about permanent alimony reform in the United States. Proponents of Florida’s reform bill argue that alimony is an outdated agreement that unfairly ties the payer to a lifetime of debt for what may have been a short-lived marriage. Opponents, however, believe that the bill would have retroactively canceled existing financial agreements that many divorced spouses rely on.
If the bill had passed, Florida would have become the fifth state in the U.S. to abolish lifetime alimony awards.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Florida’s reform bill proposed that alimony payments would be based on the payer’s monthly gross income, and payments would not last more than half the duration of the marriage. Therefore, shorter marriages would garner fewer payments than marriages that last 20 years or more.
Opponents claim the bill would apply a “cookie-cutter approach” to a complex process since every divorce comes with a unique set of circumstances that a judge must examine in order to determine an appropriate settlement.
Despite the setback, advocates for alimony reform in Florida claim they will continue the fight to change the law.
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