In our last post we discussed a new alimony reform bill that's making headlines in Florida. Although two years ago a different reform bill was vetoed, some think the new bill may actually have legs. A lawyer who helped craft the bill says the measure seeks balance and calls it a "compromise." The lawyer represents the Florida Bar Family Section - a group that actually fought the previous proposal.
The leader of a group that has been fighting for alimony reform for the last five years says the proposal is a "step in the right direction," saying that Florida's current alimony law is abusive to payers and also to payees.
Rep. Colleen Burton says the bill will help streamline the alimony process during divorce while also giving judges the power to make the final decision.
Not everyone is as excited about the new bill, with some Democrats saying the new bill favors breadwinners. Rep. Cynthia Stafford says she feels the bill is "one-sided" and benefits the payer. Rep. Lori Berman pointed out that divorce should focus on the best interests of the child and the family and that this bill does not do so. "This is a one-size-fits-all bill. It doesn't look at equity and justice," she said.
The Florida lobbyist for the National Organization for Women also opposes the new bill. She called the bill a "bad bill," stating that the organization opposes the changes because they are trying to protect women.
The bill has one more committee to pass before it heads to the House floor for a vote.