The upkeep reform strikes into the home flooring

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Permanent alimony would end under the legislation heading for the floor of the house, but there is a provision in the bill that deals with the division of children’s time and that seems to be causing the most controversy.

By law, alimony can only last half the duration of a marriage unless the recipient is medically needy or caring for a disabled child.

Both men and women who make endless payments to their exes have testified in support.

“I can hardly pay this monthly maintenance and see no end in sight,” said the constant maintenance payer Sonia Delgado.

Tim Kruger said he couldn’t marry his girlfriend because her income would be part of his upkeep and increase his payments.

“My pastor says I’m going to hell and my lawyer says don’t marry her,” said Kruger, who also pays child support.

Opponents, mostly attorneys for the Florida Bar Family Law Section, argued the change would hurt those most at risk.


“These are low-income families who cannot afford lawyers,” said Beth Luna, a family law attorney.

But it is another provision in the bill that is causing the most controversy.

During divorce proceedings, the courts would start by assuming that both parents should be entitled to equal timeshare for their children.

“It’s kind of a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg.

Even some Republican lawmakers raised concerns.

“My parents didn’t get along, and so dividing children 50-50 wouldn’t have worked for them,” said Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand.

Similar laws were passed twice, but both times were rejected by the then government. Rick scott.

Even if the legislation doesn’t help those currently struggling to maintain a livelihood, Delgado believes the status quo isn’t working.

“And that makes marriage in Florida seem more like an obligation than a blessing,” Delgado said.

The bill is now being moved into the house and has another committee freeze in the Senate.


If passed, the changes would apply to all divorces that did not have a final order issued before July 1, 2021.

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