What is Alimony?
Alimony occurs when a couple divorces and one spouse must give financial support to the other . This generally happens because the stay-at-home parent, who gave up a career to take care of the family, has difficulty re-joining the workforce. The law goes as far back as the Code of Hammurabi, which, according to history.com, is one of the oldest law codes in human history. In the United States, four types of alimony exist:
- Temporary alimony
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Permanent alimony
- Reimbursement alimony
The proposed law change in Florida would ban permanent alimony, which requires the spouse who makes more money to pay the spouse who makes less money until the recipient remarries or until the payor or recipient dies.
What is the Florida’s Alimony Reform Bill?
The Alimony Reform Bill aims to create some sort of formula for calculating the amount and duration of alimony, instead of leaving it up to a judge arbitrarily on a case-by-case basis. Attorney Lisa Kleinberg hopes such a change would “at least create some sort of consistency and some sort of continuity as to what sort of results we’re going to get for our clients.” The bill would also aim to create a more 50-50 split for time sharing children between parents. Having passed the second committee, the alimony bill can be put to vote on the House floor.
Floridians’ Opinion of the Bill
In 2010, 12,000 men were receiving alimony compared to 380,000 women, according to the US Census Bureau Statistics. Generally speaking then, men end up paying alimony and are excited at the prospect their spouses shouldn’t “win the lottery by getting married,” which is how Steven Kramer of Kramer Law Firm described permanent alimony. Many women agree with the sentiment, believing there are many ways to create a living and career for themselves despite being out of the workforce for a long period of time. On the other hand, the National Organization for Women believes the changes could devastate those relying on alimony. The group believes ending permanent alimony would be unfair to the stay-at-home mothers who gave up their careers in order to take care of a family.
Handling a Divorce in Florida
Divorce is always hard, and now tempers and emotions are rising over this bill. If you’re in the middle of the divorce process right now with children involved, it is best to make this process as painless as possible for them. Parents can complete the state-required family stabilization course to help ease children through the stressful divorce process.