The maintenance reform law is pushed ahead with some improvements compared to the attempts of previous years
The 10th year of the debate on reform of the alimony bill could prove enticing if the first hearing before the Senate Tax Policy Committee is any indication.
The legislation (SB1416) Republican Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota advances and wins approval on its first committee stop. This time, unlike legislation to end permanent alimony, which has been vetoed three times, the bill would not adversely affect existing alimony agreements, Gruters said.
“This is not retroactive at all,” Gruters said. “If you have an unchangeable agreement, you can’t go back and change the agreement now.”
In years past, committee hearings have featured a parade of divorcees tearfully recounting demands for what they gave up for other assets to receive alimony.
governor Ron DeSantis vetoed last year’s legislation that would have upended agreements reached in previous years.
Gruters said this year’s bill was the result of extensive work with everyone involved in the debate. However, the 23-page bill proposes a procedure for ex-spouses who pay alimony to change an existing agreement if they want to retire.
In the past, the issue has led to dramatically divided voices. It passed 74-42 in the House of Representatives last year. Last year, the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section opposed the bill, but this year it’s on board.
Andrea Reida lawyer with the Florida Bar Family Law DepartmentShe said she had fought the measure for the past few years, but now she’s saying “thank you.”
“This law is not unconstitutionally retroactive,” Reid said. “I think there is some confusion about the retrospective application of this bill because actually, yes, there are provisions in this bill that will apply to cases that are currently in existence. But… we haven’t reinvented the wheel here.”
Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough and Democratic Sen. Lori Berman of Delray Beach, both voted against the bill’s progress.
Republican representatives. John Temple And Alex Andrade submitted an identical invoice (HB1409) March 3, but a committee hearing has yet to take place.
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