Alimony reform has garnered much attention in recent years from family law attorneys and divorce lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton and throughout Florida. Attorneys for breadwinners ordered to pay ongoing alimony to ex-spouses have grown frustrated with seemingly unending payments.
Some such breadwinners call themselves "slaves" to alimony. As long as they're gainfully employed with no significant change in income or earnings, their financial obligations originally ordered by the court typically do not change until either party dies.
Modification to their alimony or child support obligations generally can only come with a material change in financial or earning circumstances. This can include retirement or unemployment dramatically affecting the individual's ability to meet the obligations.
While alimony reform remains a topic of great interest, what many family law attorneys would like to see is legislative changes that mandate standardization of alimony awards. Currently, alimony awards granted by Florida courts, judges and magistrates can vary widely. Looking at the same evidence, two courts - even in the same judicial circuit - may arrive at vastly different awards. For attorneys and their clients, such unpredictability presents challenging circumstances.
While case law and statutes exist to protect individuals, when two judges presented with the same facts arrive at wildly different rulings, alimony can become "the luck of the draw."
Florida family law courts need standardization. Attorneys and their clients need to know how each jurist and every court will view a set of facts. Unpredictability is no way to operate any court - especially when people's lives and livelihoods are at stake.