Women’s rights groups to rally in Tally against alimony bill

divorce alimony reform (Large)

A coalition of women’s groups including the National Organization for Women, the League of Women Voters, Breastfeeding Coalition, National Council of Jewish Women and UniteWomen FL will all rally in Tallahassee on Tuesday against Senate Bill 668, a family law measure awaiting Governor Rick Scott‘s signature.

The new statute would give judges a formula to use in deciding alimony payments in Florida and, more controversially, would specify a premise that a minor child should spend about equal amounts of time with each parent.

The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar supports the alimony portion of the bill, but not the child-sharing component.

The measure has generated both strong support – and opposition – as advocates on both sides await the governor’s decision.

“The media conference is being hosted to sway Governor Scott to veto this bill,” said Jacksonville family law attorney Heather Quick.

Speakers at the event, which begins at 10:45 a.m. on the steps between the new and old state Capitols, include Quick, NOW’s Barbara DeVane, and Polk County Judge Robert Doyel.

“Not only will alimony be affected by the proposed legislation, but also timesharing,” Quick said. “The bill is calling for a 50/50 timeshare split. This affects child support payments.  More timesharing equals less payments. Regardless if the child is more bonded with one parent over another, or if one parent works longer hours, or if the parent has emotional or substance abuse issues — there will be an equal split. The kids should have a say in whom they want to live with. And that person should be able to afford their clothing, food and activities.  We must ask ourselves ‘What is in the best interest of the child?’ “

Scott vetoed an earlier version of the proposal three years ago, but changes have been made to the legislation in the interim.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]


  • Stephen Yurs

    April 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Call and email the gov, FLS is using fake emails to trick the gov!!!
    Dirty establishment politics just what Trump is against. Governor Scott said we must unite around Trump because the majority have spoken he’s right. Gov. Scott we are fed up of establishment politics, the FLS is a dirty political establishment , stand up to them and give the majority what they want. Sign SB 668
    [email protected]
    ‪#‎governorscott‬ ‪#‎rickscott‬

  • Concerned Citizens For Alimony Reform

    April 7, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    “A rally of LIES and MANIPULATION” This should certainly be the title of the gathering. See the truth by visiting the Family Law Reform Website or Facebook pages. See the Truth by visiting the National Organization of Parents Website relative to the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section back room bullying and antics to try and derail this Good Bill so they ensure billable hours stay in tack.

  • Mike Whitney

    April 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    What a shameful disgrace this so called womens rights rally is. It goes against true equality and against what’s proven to be best for children and society… Shared parenting. They just want to retain their free money and the power of inequality they now have. Very disturbing to say the least.

  • Nannette Cobb

    April 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    I support SB 668 and as a registered conservative voter. These rallies are chaired by Democrats.

    • Michael Romero

      April 8, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      not all democrats support this bullshit. 🙂 SB 668 should be signed!

  • Lee Kallett

    April 7, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    A shocking article by the National Organization of Parents was printed yesterday. Another article was released today. Everyone needs to read them and question why there are three lobbyist firms hired by the FLS to exert pressure on the governor. The constituents contacted their legislators to voice that family law is long overdue. The legislators also listened to public testimony and the House and Senate passed SB 668 by an overwhelming 2/3 majority. Clearly, the legislators listened to what the voters want. It’s now time for Governor Scott to listen to the voters and SIGN SB 668. It is a fair and equitable bill for ALL Florida families.

  • Chris Spears

    April 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Heather Quick, how do you sleep at night when during the day you have given such false information? This bill does not say 50/50. This bill gives 20 parameters for a judge to use discretion to change approximately equal time sharing for reasons that you list (closer bonding with one parent, substance abuse, work requirements). Have you actually read the bill or just getting funneled misinformation from special interest groups. Since your a women’s only lawyer, I would never use you. However, your blatant disregard for the facts and knowledge, I would deter any one from using your practice.

    • kenneth

      April 11, 2016 at 11:18 am

      She’s a women only attorney? How can that be, if a bakery must bake cakes for everyone, then how can an attorney refuse to represent men?

  • Em

    April 7, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Sorry, why the hell would any true feminist group oppose 50/50 as a mandatory assumption unless the parents themselves agree otherwise and why should they be barracking against the appropriate reduction in CS/Alimony?? Aww come ON! FFS, are we equal or not???

    • Ben

      April 8, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Because, if you never got the memo feminism has never been for fair and equal, its always been for supremacy. This is just yet another demonstration of that as their sexism and biased views become more overt.

    • phu que

      April 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Feminism isn’t about Equality any longer.

  • Yeah Nope

    April 8, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Feminists fighting against equality? I’m shocked! Oh wait, no I’m not.

    Anyone else find it interesting that feminists have spent millions lobbying against every shared parenting bill for the last 50 years, while simultaneously claiming that default female custody is an oppressive part of the patriarchy, which they fight against.

    • Ben

      April 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      You sir have just nailed it.

  • Phil

    April 8, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Society obliging men to financially support a child is a ok, but the child having equal access to both parents? Nope!

    Women in that situation may have to pay child support and that would be a travesty.

  • Phil Ford

    April 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Hypocritical bigots! Feminists are all about “equality” unless it means equality for men as well.

  • Chuck Reinertsen

    April 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    SB668 is an equality issue, plain and simple. If Gov. Scott believes in equality between men and women he will sign SB668. Alimony and custody are equality issues. They are used as games in the courts, not to do what’s best for Florida’s families, but to create conflict rather than resolution. There is much money to be made in conflict. This is not a man/woman issue. This is a worker/non-worker issue. There are more men now receiving permanent alimony from successful women. Surely social conservative values would not support an able bodied, intelligent and very capable man living off the sweat and toil of his former wife. Yet that’s what current law does. Gov. Scott talks about “Let’s get to work” but who is he talking to? Those already working who pay healthy, able bodied and very capable recipients who choose not to work because if they do, they lose their alimony check. Families remain tied up in Family Courts for a lifetime. That adds up to thousands of billable hours. At the expense of our children, our future and our freedom. There are over 100 studies advocating children spending more time with each parent. Social conservative values want to do what’s best for the children! We talk about a fatherless society while we limit the time fathers can spend with their own children. What a shame! Most of these fathers are good guys who love their children. Social conservative values would want their father to have as much influence in their children’s lives as possible. Not all women are good mothers. Not all men are bad fathers. We’re back to equality, the real issue.
    So Gov. Scott, what’s it going to be? A vote for equality, social conservative values, or continue ripping families apart, penalizing the workers, rewarding the non-workers, and creating an atmosphere where people avoid marriage at all. You just legalized cohabitation. Why should people ever get married under today’s “family” laws?

  • Ben

    April 8, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Sounds like an fair and equal bill to me. However I am not surprised that feminists have a problem with it. Of course they would, they have always been against equality no matter what the shape of it.

  • John Grisham

    April 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Follow the truth and you shall find that the only reason that the The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar is opposed to this bill is because they are in favor of MORE LITIGATION which equals more money for their attorneys. See the truth in the following article by National Parent Organization who got leaked documents that explain what the Family Section is doing https://nationalparentsorganization.org/recent-articles?id=22883

  • ben

    April 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    So instead of blindly splitting one parties assets 50/50, the court will determine, via financial records, how much alimony must be paid in order for one parent to support a child.

    Seems pretty logical and sane, a much needed change for family court.

  • Yeah Nope

    April 8, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Sadly most politicians have two primary concerns:
    1.) Re-election
    2.) Lobbyist money

    The multi-million dollar feminist lobby provides for both. When taking that into account I don’t have much hope for this bill. Especially when outright lies such as those made by Heather Quick are used as opposition propaganda.

    To rebut Quick’s lies; straight from the bill:
    –In establishing a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule, the court shall begin with the premise that a minor child should spend approximately equal amounts of time with each parent. Using this premise as a starting point, the court shall formulate a parenting plan and time sharing schedule taking into account the best interest of the child after considering all of the relevant factors in subsection (3).

    The bill is only 33 pages, if you haven’t read it, please do. It’s illustrates exactly why feminists oppose it.

  • Concerned Citizens

    April 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Every family and every divorce is different. What works for John Doe will not work for Matt Smith and vice versa. To try to show square pegs into a round hole is counter productive. Too many loopholes, too many ways children will be harmed by this bill. So we will see you on the steps 🙂

    • Factsoverfeelings

      April 11, 2016 at 5:44 am

      How is this bil more harmful than what exists currently?

  • Mark Soyer

    April 9, 2016 at 2:17 am

    This is a completely misleading article. The bill will not mandate equal custody. It will simply use that as a starting point, unlike the current system where the mother usually gets custody by default. The judge can change the distribution based on various factors.

    The main reason women are opposing this bill is because it will remove the ability for them to extort child support payments from their ex-husbands by threatening to withhold the ability to see their children.

    This bill makes it equal for both sides, and women aren’t going to tolerate that and give up their special privilege without a fight.

  • Tuco

    April 9, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Oh yeah? What about Men’s Rights. Don’t men have the right NOT to be a slave for life? Forcibly extracting money from another person and forcing them to work is slavery.

  • Stephanie Grenole

    April 11, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    It’s impressive to see all these men’s rights people from all over the United States descending on this article simultaneously to bolster and shake their pom-poms for their own ignorance, bigotry, and crudeness.

    So a little summary: we are discussing a bill here, SB 668.

    Opposing this bill is a confederation of groups: women’s groups, family court judges (some active, some retired), the Family Law Section, child welfare advocates, domestic violence activists, social workers (shedding light on the strain 668 will put on the DCF and social services system), and other people who have carefully studied the provisions and realize the hitches, contradictions, and unjustices innate to the bill and recognize the unintended consequences that will follow.

    On the other side, the pro-668 team, we have alimony payors. Yes, just them: just they and their egotistical shadows. Also, to add a fescennine element to their selfishness, we also have the “men’s rights” people that they’ve recruited (and perhaps hired) from outside of Florida to call and email the governor’s office and fill these comment sections with their unhinged, uneducated drivel about “feminism.”

    But let’s talk a little sense about the bill, and why decent-thinking people are opposed to it:

    First off, it’s retroactive, meaning that it will apply to settlements that have already been agreed to. This might not sound too bad to those against lifetime alimony, until you learn that in many divorce agreements, lifetime alimony was agreed to by the payor because the recipient ceded a claim to a large marital asset (like the house). So now you are going to re-open already settled agreements, and tell the recipient, “Remember when you gave up your half of the house for alimony. Surprise! Now you don’t get either!” Who would defend that as fair?

    Secondly, the bill’s guidelines for alimony length are deceitful and intentionally misleading. As first blush, it sounds fair that alimony should end after a number of years sufficient to allow the recipient to re-train, re-marry, or re-fashion their lives however they see fit. The two ex-partners should be able to go their separate ways at some point. So why did the pro-668 people include the 10% trigger, which is a trigger that comes into effect whenever the recipient has a 10% increase in income. Understand, not a 10% increase in wages or salary; a 10% increase in income, which can be loads of things: anything from an emergency withdrawal from a 401k for a medical emergency to a COLA increase from a job, which is just inflation and not a real increase in wages. So, for instance, a woman who has an alimony reward for 7 years, and is working hard to re-train and then be employed so that by year 7, she’s self-sufficient, could see her alimony terminated in year 3 (depending on inflation). Is it fair, is it aboveboard, that the bill’s stated guidelines of alimony rewards would be undercut by an innocuous-sounding 10% trigger? The pro-668 people like to laugh this one off.

    This is getting long, so I’ll just quickly mention that the third major objection is to allowing the payor to suspend payments during modification, which will obviously encourage frivolous motions. (In other states, those payments must be put into an escrow, to be dispersed at judgment. Here in Florida, they’re allowed to go up in smoke, in reality, not on paper. Enforcement being a major problem that pro-668 people don’t worry their heads about.)

    And the fourth major problem is the 50/50. Posters below are bleating about “equality,” without seeing past this abstraction. What 50/50 means in reality, in the Florida family court system, is that abusers, rapists, and other miscreants will automatically get an “equal” chance with children they’ve sired, and that the mothers will be required to spend money and time they mayn’t have litigating to protect their children.

    Now, not every man is a rapist or an abuser, certainly, but this exposes another flaw in 668: laws apply to everyone, good guy and bad. So when one proposes a bill like 668, you have to consult experts to make sure the bad guys aren’t given an unforeseen advantage in the court system.

    In other states, the legislatures have done just this by forming a neutral task force of experts: judges, women’s groups, et al. In fact, every group that is expressly against 668. And the task force makes recommendations to change the law, based on REALITY, based on experience, based on facts. And that’s all the opponents of 668 want: fair laws for everyone.


    • Yeah Nope

      April 12, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      In reply to Stephanie Grenole:

      “On the other side, the pro-668 team, we have alimony payors.”

      “First off, it’s retroactive, meaning that it will apply to settlements that have already been agreed to.
      How very disingenuous of you to imply that this is something new and that modifications would be allowed arbitrarily. Both parties have always been able to petition the court for modification, this is not new, but a new clause was added to specifically prevent pursuit of arbitrary modification petitions such as you described.
      (e) A party who unreasonably pursues or defends an action for modification of alimony shall be required to pay the reasonable attorney fees and costs of the prevailing party.

      Is it fair, is it aboveboard, that the bill’s stated guidelines of alimony rewards would be undercut by an innocuous-sounding 10% trigger?”
      Again, how disingenuous of you. The “10% trigger” as you call it, is not an automatic termination of alimony as you portray it. Again, both parties have always been able to petition the court for modification, the new language merely sets a unambiguous standard for when such petitions can be made (10%), whereas before there was none.
      The pro-668 people like to laugh this one off.
      Of course they do, because in addition to what I have written above, also in the bill is this very unambiguous language:
      668 However, a court may not decrease or increase the duration of alimony provided for in the agreement or order.
      This renders your scenario of a 7 year alimony agreement being terminated in 3, utterly fallacious.

      “allowing the payor to suspend payments during modification, which will obviously encourage frivolous motions”
      Does the disingenuousness ever stop? The payor cannot simply stop paying. The court has the option to suspend payments, and as for frivolous motions, I believe that was covered in my first point. In case you missed it, here it is again:
      (e) A party who unreasonably pursues or defends an action for modification of alimony shall be required to pay the reasonable attorney fees and costs of the prevailing party.

      “What 50/50 means in reality, in the Florida family court system, is that abusers, rapists, and other miscreants will automatically get an “equal” chance with children”
      The bill has always contained language to limit or eliminate custody for those with a criminal background. There has been no changes to that language. On one hand at least this isn’t disingenuous, but on the other now we are in the realm of outright falsity.

      Stephanie, you are clearly passionate about this, but I believe that passion has allowed you to be misinformed by ideologues intent on preserving a broken system because they profit from it. Don’t take my word for, read the bill yourself and see if I have misconstrued anything with my response. I can only hope that the disingenuousness I see in your post is the product of misinformation, not willful deceit.

      • Shelley McKaughan

        April 13, 2016 at 11:07 am

        the modification in the new bill is not the same as in the old statutes. The definition of supportive relationship is greatly expanded. the ability to do discovery on a new spouse of the payor is limited to if payor is claiming a loss. if the receiver is not receiving alimony they are prejudiced in court, meaning they are even taking a greater risk of being forced to pay legal fees, because they will have a more difficult time proving their case while their funds are limited to even survive let alone pay attorneys. if you cannot understand this, you have not spent much time in civil court!

        Also you claim you have supporters other than Alimony payor (and their spouses of course) yet you do not list any. What supporters do you have that have ZERO personal gain or loss in the game. Please do elaborate.

        To prove substance abuse, you need records, subpoenaed records, if the situation has risen to that level, you have a better chance, but do we really want people trapped waiting for enough “evidence” to accumulate.

        Deposition of one person. roughly 2000.00 in attorney fees, transcript of hearings and depositions, easily 1000.00.

        Psychologists to evaluate and back you or refute the false claims set up, easy 2000.00

        Tell me again who this “written finding of fact” helps???? please do reply

    • Her crotch smells like a taco

      April 24, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      No, you just feel threatened your meal ticket will dry up.

  • Alfonso Clifford

    April 12, 2016 at 12:12 am

    The last thing feminists want is gender equality

  • Molly

    April 14, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    My company just received a slanderous review from one of those opposed to this bill. These people call the supporters of this bill “bullies” and then these are the tactics they use? Hypocrisy at its finest.

    The comment posted read: “I will never shop at an establishment where the employees openly support hate groups that bully and belittle children.”

    For the record, I am a divorced mother of three who shares 50/50 custody. I receive no alimony and I have a full time job at a small, independent business. You don’t have to work? Fine. But I think the blatant disregard for someone who actually has to work for a living is very telling about some of these people and the lengths they are willing to go to in order to protect their monthly “welfare” check.

  • Bruce Wayne

    April 16, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I just want to be a dad. I just want to have the time to raise my son. Giving less than 50/50 will hurt both of us.

Comments are closed.


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