Modernize upkeep and construct a bridge to independence

Florida judges effectively impose life sentences in divorce cases, with both men and women stepping away from court and burdening alimony for the rest of their lives.

Florida’s maintenance laws grew as men served as the main breadwinners of a typical family while women stayed at home. Those days are over. Both women and men work hard to support their families, with more women serving as the main economic providers of the family.

It did so as more women became the main breadwinners in American households. In 2017, the US Department of Labor’s Office for Women found that the proportion of households with children under the age of 18 in which mothers work as equals, primary or single employment increased from 15.6% in 1970 to 40.4% in 2017 is.

Eternal support replaces everlasting love

Couples leave wedding ceremonies with the overwhelming intention of loving their spouse forever. Unfortunately, not all couples keep the promise of eternal love their hearts made on their wedding day. People change, love dies, and marriages end.

More and more women are being forced to start a new life, paying monthly maintenance for life. For a woman I met, the judge ordered her to pay $ 10,000 a month when she was divorced. Second, the judge tells them to pay $ 3,500 a month. These women are wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment for ending a troubled marriage.

This means that these women will struggle to pay their own bills, run their own households, and at the same time have to pay child support for the rest of their lives. Basically, these women have to work forever to make sure they abide by the court-ordered alimony.

Maintenance reform brings a new approach

In Florida, it’s time for us to update the tired, outdated, and overtly reflective approach to Florida livelihoods. With the support of the Florida Family Fairness volunteer group, I work with the state senator. Joe Gruters from Sarasota to develop a new policy to withdraw ours forever maintenance law and join the 44 other states that ended the upkeep.

Without responsible reforms to the way our system works, divorce attorneys are the only sure winners when a marriage falters.

As divorced couples lead their lives in new and different directions, our proposed law (CS / HB 1559 / SB 1922) will help them move towards independence and self-sufficiency.

Our responsible reform proposal to end alimony addresses this issue as fairness, not gender. It codifies the current practice of the courts of favoring 50/50 timeshare as the standard. Allows parents equal access to children’s records and information.

Women uplifted by Florida’s economic success

In Florida, we pride ourselves on the work of making our state the best place for families to live, work, and grow successfully. Revenues for Florida women have surpassed the nation. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2019 shows the female-to-male income ratio in Florida was 85.1%, above the statewide ratio of 81.5%.

We have taken wise, principled, and conservative measures to improve economic opportunities for the people of our state, relieve taxes, and encourage job creation. This careful proposal to reform our outdated divorce laws is real.

It is time for changes. Florida is the largest of only six states that still have permanent upkeep. This is a well measured approach that reflects the modern family living in today’s economy. Trends show that more and more maintenance payers are women.

When a marriage ends, every person involved deserves respect and closure. As divorced couples steer their lives in new and different directions, our proposed legislation creates predictability, uniformity, and consistency nationwide, and helps both parties transition into a divorce toward independence, finality, self-sufficiency, and ultimately more chances of success in life.


Anthony Rodriguez represents Florida House District 118, which includes part of Miami-Dade County.

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