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Legislation to stop permanent alimony passes another house
TALLAHASSEE -- Legislation to end permanent alimony and set stricter guidelines for other divorce settlements passed another House committee today. As Whitney Ray tells us, if the bill becomes law old alimony settlements could be reworked.
A wedding… a celebration of love and commitment. But what happens after the cake's cut if the couple splits?
In Florida, depending on how long the couple was married and other factors one spouse could pay the other spouse for the rest of their life.
It's called permanent alimony and bill moving through the committee process at the state capitol would eliminate it.
Divorce after divorce stood in front of lawmakers and called permanent alimony a life sentence.
"I've been held in bondage by the state and forced to pay alimony against my will for the past 30 years."
The bill's sponsor Representative Ritch Workman says the current system is outdated.
Rep. Ritch Workman / R
"Things have change in the family and so should alimony."
But opponents, like Elisha Roy with the Florida Bar, say the legislation would keep spouses from staying home and raising kids.
Elisha Roy / Florida Bar
"Essentially what this bill says it, 'you've got to go to work. You've got to work to your highest potential while you're at work, cause if you don't you are going to have a very short period of time, half the length of your marriage, to figure out a way to make back that social security that you sacrificed and make back that retirement income you sacrificed."
The bill would also allow old alimony cases to be reworked.
"Essentially what we are doing is opening the flood gates to every divorce that has ever been decided in Florida."
After several amendments and a few objections the bill passed.
Workman says he'll continue to amend the bill in an effort to gain more support.