The upkeep reform went to the Senate

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – A permanent alimony would end under legislation centered on the floor of the house, but there seems to be a provision in the bill that deals with the division of children’s time that seems the largest To cause 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 permanent alimony.

Opponents, mostly attorneys for the Florida Bar Family Law Section, argued the change will 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 begin by assuming that both parents should be entitled to an equal share of their children’s time.

“It’s kind of a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Democrat Ben Diamond.

Even some Republican lawmakers raised concerns.

“My parents did not get along and so the 50/50 division of the children would not have worked for them,” said Republican representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff.

Similar laws were passed twice, but both times then-Governor Rick Scott was vetoed.

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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