Two alimony reform bills being considered by the Florida Legislature would significantly change divorce and child custody laws in this state, according to Jacksonville family law attorney Lawrence Datz, former president of Florida’s Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Datz discussed the proposals this morning with WJXT's Morning Show host Jennifer Waugh.
Legislative proposals were filed in Tallahassee earlier this month marking the fourth time in recent years that Florida lawmakers have tried to pass alimony reform. Senate Bill 1922 and House Bill 1559 include eliminating what is known as “permanent alimony.” They also would create a presumption in favor of equal timesharing, i.e., that the parties’ child or children would spend 50% of overnights in each parent’s household.
Reform supporters argue that alimony is currently a debtors’ prison for many Floridians with those receiving alimony only needing to stay single in order to continue receiving payments. Ex-spouses who were married for at least 10 years are unfairly entitled to half of the alimony payer’s social security and inheritance; they say.
The alimony reform bills being considered would significantly change divorce in Florida, according to Jacksonville family law attorney Lawrence Datz, former president of Florida’s Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and a long-standing leader among Florida family law attorneys. Among other provisions, the bills call for:
- eliminating permanent alimony
- limiting durational alimony to 50% of the duration of the marriage
- creating an alimony formula, similar to the child support guidelines, that defines obligations and reduces litigation
- allowing all alimony payers the right to retire and terminate alimony
Family law expert Lawrence Datz has spent decades practicing family law, divorce law and criminal law. He is the founder of the Datz & Datz law firm in 2003, which focuses primarily on family law including divorce law. He is Board Certified in Marital and Family Law and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as well as a Master in the Florida Family Law Inn of Court.