A brand new invoice would ban upkeep in Florida. We spoke to individuals on either side

FORT MYERS – In a debate about alimony, people across the state and across the country weigh themselves.

A new bill in Florida law would prohibit permanent maintenance, which many states have already done.

When judges hear about divorce cases, they must ask themselves how much and for how long one partner pays the other after the separation. In a small percentage of cases, the judge will decide that these payments will last forever.

After Christoph Leibrecht and his wife separated, he said the judge’s decision was devastating.

“What they want is $ 10,300 a month, constant maintenance,” said Leibrecht.

It is a price that Leibrecht said he had no way of paying. He said he had used up his $ 2 million inheritance but it was not enough.

“The lawyer needs $ 55,000, you have $ 55,000 perch, so they took my house,” said Leibrecht.

Leibrecht said he even spent 12 days in jail because he couldn’t pay. He now lives in Maine, where he hopes lawyers won’t come after him.

“This whole process literally brought me to the verge of suicide,” said Leibrecht.

The Senate’s 1922 bill would not only make permanent alimony payments illegal, it would also cancel Leibrecht’s payments retrospectively.

But we also spoke to Jan Killilea, who said that permanent maintenance actually saved her after her divorce.

“I was married for 25 years and gave up my career to have a family in a traditional marriage,” said Killilea.

Killilea started a website called Equityanddignity.com, which campaigned for women like her. She doesn’t want the bill to take away the payments that helped her rebuild her life.

“I know how difficult it is to reinvent yourself at 50 and a 25 year resume,” said Killilea.

The bill had previously been passed by lawmakers and was even rejected by then Governor Rick Scott. At the moment it is heard in the regulatory committee.

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