The everlasting livelihood in Florida should come to an finish

MP Alex Andrade

Elisa Del Rey is a mother and teacher in her late 40s. She barely scratches the mark every month after considering the needs of her children. Not because of low teacher salaries or the high cost of childcare or health care, but because she owes her ex-husband child support. Elisa will never retire because she owes a lifelong support to a man whom she found courage to go after abuse in her marriage. To make matters worse, he’s not working on feeding himself today.

Elisha’s powerful story inspired us to fight for change. Tens of thousands of Floridians have suffered from Florida’s outdated maintenance laws. Florida is one of the few states that still allows lifelong maintenance. Current Florida law has a negative impact on the formation of new relationships. Recipients hide supportive relationships so they can continue to earn maintenance. and payers are cautious about remarrying as their new spouse’s income can be used to increase or fund child support payments to their ex-spouse.

MP Alex Andrade

I take pride in promoting legislation in the 2020 session aimed at reforming Florida’s outdated maintenance system. This reform aims to achieve several goals.

First, lifelong support needs to be eliminated. Lifelong child support has created a culture of dependence. An ex-spouse can count on a different monthly allowance until death. In 2020, our laws should focus on promoting long-term self-sufficiency.

Second, our legislation creates clearer guidelines for maintenance decisions that allow parties to anticipate their outcomes without having to fight lengthy maintenance disputes in court. Stricter standards reduce litigation and make judgments more consistent no matter which judge you have been assigned. found that the average cost of a divorce to take to court is $ 19,600. By reducing litigation, families save money so families can use that money better than legal fees.

Third, we establish an absolute right to retire for maintenance payers. Everyone should be able to withdraw with dignity. At the moment, a recipient of alimony can retire and expect a payer to continue to become senior citizenship. Failure to pay means further financial ruin and possible incarceration.

One of the aims of these reforms is to let ex-spouses move on and no longer remain associated with a failed marriage. Lifelong child support keeps former spouses together forever, increasing bitterness and resentment between parents and hurting children caught in the middle.

Maintenance reform does not mean the elimination of maintenance or an opposition to maintenance. Child support must remain available to facilitate the transition from marriage to full separation. However, maintenance should focus on facilitating transitions and rehabilitation, not permanent addiction.

Our maintenance laws should allow families to move on and plan financially for the future. They should be designed to help families heal.

As Elisha’s story shows, both men and women suffer from current Florida law. Pew Research found that 4 out of 10 women are the top breadwinners in US households today. That number will continue to grow as women outperform men in obtaining advanced degrees. The reform will make the system fairer to the growing number of women who pay child support. This would be the case in my own household as my wife has a very successful career herself.

Some say the current system works fine. They say the payers can always request a change. But it is not that simple. Change measures are expensive, insecure and create further difficulties for families through the difficult, bitter process.

Divorce is difficult enough as it is. Controversial and expensive maintenance battles only make matters worse, especially for children.

It is time to modernize Florida’s maintenance laws and make the system fairer for families. Victims of our current laws like Elisha are counting on us.

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