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Florida should do more research on alimony

When a family breaks apart, the financial changes can be devastating for spouses who were dependent on the other. In Orlando, some people may choose to stay at home and raise the children while others may have not attained the education and career status as their spouse. Still other spouses may be unable to work due to age or health issues. For people in this situation, the court may decide to grant them alimony payments.

Recently, critics have said that Florida should do more research on alimony before trying to change current laws. One suggestion was to put together a task force whose job would be to examine how any alimony changes would affect Floridians. The task force should also look at the success rates of other states that passed such laws and the formulas those states used. This would provide the state with analytical evidence.

Additionally, the task force should hear what others have to say on the matter, such as the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section, family law court judges, women’s rights groups, legislators, lawyers and men’s rights groups. Instead, lawmakers appear to have been influenced by testimony of people whose situations were far from the average experience. This testimony has generated new legislation over the last three years that has been vetoed by the governor after passing the state’s legislature.

Going through a divorce can be one of the most emotional experiences that people can experience. Adding to the trauma of a relationship ending, is the potential for a legal battle over property, alimony, child custody or other matters. Therefore, it may be a good idea to sit down with an experienced attorney.

Source: Miami Herald, “Consider the toll before enacting alimony reform,” Lori Berman and Cynthia Stafford, May 5, 2016

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