Permanent alimony could be a thing of the past in Florida.
The Legislature passed a measure (SB 1416) that would change the terms for couples parting ways. That includes eliminating the possibility of divorced couples remaining eternally tied together.
“Divorce is devastating,” said Sen. Joe Gruters, the Senate sponsor, “but the process of going through divorce is more devastating for families involved.” The bill aims to streamline the process and derive a more fair division of assets even in acrimonious situations.
House lawmakers passed the bill Tuesday on a 102-12 vote, with no debate on the floor. That was after the Senate in April passed the legislation on a 36-6 vote.
But while the House and Senate ultimately passed legislation in union, Gov. Ron DeSantis still can annul the bill. He vetoed a similar attempt at alimony reform passed by the Legislature last year.
Rep. John Temple hopes the legislation can ease separations.
“Divorce is hard,” Temple said in committee. “It can be ugly and hurtful. What I believe this bill does is it helps make that process smoother and less ugly.”
The legislation would replace permanent financial situations with “durational alimony,” where courts would determine financial obligations based on the length of marriages.
Temple stressed in committee the need to bring finality to the end of a marriage, including financial transactions. The bill does allow a one-year period when any agreements can be reevaluated following a divorce.
Importantly, the legislation is not retroactive and will not undo arrangements that already exist.
Gruters and Temple worked closely with parties on both sides of the alimony debate, and picked up support from disparate advocates and attorneys at the time.
“We sat down and worked out every single issue that was in conflict with attorneys and reform groups,” he said. He recalls divided crowds and extended floor debate before his alimony bill passed last year. By comparison, the majority of public comment on this bill was supportive.
Gruters said his goal was to make sure a system was created that leads to quicker resolutions and allows families breaking apart to fairly divide the assets accumulated during their union instead of enriching divorce lawyers for eternity.
But the legislation still has detractors. Camille Malone, of the First Wives Advocacy Group, has said the bill will hurt women, including survivors of domestic abuse like herself.
“This bill does not protect future women in the decision to stay home to raise a family,” she tweeted, adding that “46 other states have forms of permanent Alimony. We are not behind. We already have great laws to protect women and mothers. Please keep those laws.”
She has asked DeSantis to veto the bill this year as well, and has also reached out to First Lady Casey DeSantis.
May 3, 2023 at 7:07 pm
Camille needs to get a job like everyone else in Florida does. The ability for alimony payers to retire was decided by the Florida Supreme Court in 1992. SB1416 simply codifies that decision into the Florida Statutes. The Florida Bar and the Alimony Reform group are both on board with this compromise solution. Governor DeSantis will sign this good bill.
May 3, 2023 at 7:17 pm
This opinion piece from the Washington Examiner says it all.
May 4, 2023 at 12:22 pm
It’s filled with inaccuracies including Camille’s employment status. She WORKS full time.
May 4, 2023 at 5:59 pm
I dunno she kept saying she works for minimum wage for 10 hours a week at the family bakery. Seems she’s taking money under the table and not reporting it to the IRS. I’ve heard about that scam before smh.
May 4, 2023 at 12:46 pm
Well Adam Mynrd or Terry who ever you are To WHOM IT MAY CONCERN . I am Camille Malone Fiveash and I’m Stating now that I DO WORK ! This bill is RETROACTIVE NOT ALL STAKEHOLDERS were consulted , they left out the THOUSANDS OF WOMEN THAT THIS BILL WILL IMPOVERISH
JOE GRUTERS AND PHILLIP WARTENBERG do not care about the Women they only care about the men with the money . ,
May 4, 2023 at 12:54 pm
An opinion piece from a 26 year old second wife who lives in Virginia. Not very enlightening. This bill is Retroactive and the Florida Bar has said that. The language is vague in certain areas and overall conflicts with another bill. Do your homework.
May 3, 2023 at 8:11 pm
As the former President of Family Law Reform, I urge Governor DeSantis to sign this compromise bill into law. It’s been 12 years since I brought this controversial issue to the office of Representative Ritch Workman, who recognized the injustice and tried with all his might to reform current divorce law in our great State. Another generation of married couples have entered the legal realm of divorce and the possibility of one of them paying permanent alimony. It’s time to recognize that paying alimony for life has no place in modern society. Nobody should have free ride on the income ‘gravy train” by receiving alimony for life. Even though former Governor Scott vetoed the bill (twice), his ‘get to work’ campaign for Florida residents was accurate. It’s no longer the 1950’s where only one income was needed to pay a mortgage and raise multiple children. It’s become a two income society for most married couples. Divorce puts a huge financial burden on a family— not just on economies of living, but also with cost of Attorneys, and the emotional cost it has on the entire family. There is no room for Permanent alimony in that equation. The new law codifies current case law and allows individuals to get on with their lives without being financially tied to the person they want to divorce forever. We now have a formula for the amount and the duration of alimony that Attorneys can discuss with their clients and Judges have the discretion to modify slightly when/if necessary. It finally allows for the consistency and predictability that good law should have and what I have been fighting for for the last 12 years. I’m sorry it took so long, but now that it is supported by the Legislature, the Family Law Reform Groups, as well as the Family Section of the Florida Bar, I expect Governor DeSantis to sign this legislation into law, finally enabling divorcing couples to move on with their lives without the permanency of alimony hanging over their heads. It’s about time!
May 15, 2023 at 9:12 pm
All those disgusting old man cheaters and liars who take women during their best years and then cast them aside can rejoice that their fearless leader will show them the way! K-A-R-M-A
May 4, 2023 at 1:12 am
It is still retroactive as stated by Andrea Reed. She testified it would retroactively affect marital agreements. If it’s retroactive it’s unconstitutional.
May 4, 2023 at 3:22 am
Absolutely fake news. The right for alimony payers to retire was established 30+ years ago. And all non-modifiable marriage settlemenr agreements remain non-modifiable. More smoke and mirrors from the lunatic left!
The Real Blake Taylor
May 4, 2023 at 9:54 am
How flattering that Florida Family Fairness use my name to post comments. I agree that times change and so should laws. However, when laws change retroactively they will be fought as being unconstitutional. I’m on board with SB1416 for divorces filed after 7/1/23
May 4, 2023 at 12:50 pm
They’ve re introduced Adultery with this bill. They will make Florida a no fault state no more! That takes us BACK 40 years. What next? They will begin to burn witches at the stake. Hide your incense and crystals.
May 4, 2023 at 12:59 pm
This Bill is Retroactive , Gruters is just trying to stick it to the Governor , Gruters is a Big Trump supporter and he and the Governor appear to be at odds. Last year the Governors Veto letter was very clear on NOT to bring him a retroactive unconstitutional Bill .
I’m Still in Love With My French Ex-Wife
May 4, 2023 at 1:05 pm
THIS BILL IS STILL RETROACTIVE! Nothing will change.
May 4, 2023 at 8:39 pm
Thankfully I escaped this foolishness when I divorced because my ex was deemed a trainwreck by the Court.
May 5, 2023 at 7:40 am
I wonder if they realize that regardless if the bill is signed or not the gravy train is about to end?
When the bill is signed they lose all if their negotiating leverage.
May 8, 2023 at 4:19 pm
This is good news, long overdue. I could fill a book with the insane injustices of our present law, which would include my own battles to retain god given liberties. Governor DeSantis, sign this bill.
May 9, 2023 at 2:28 pm
With a Republican super majority DeSantis has to sign it or Greuters will call a special session to pass the legislation. Greuters has made this his personal big ticket item for this session so it will get done.
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