TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to FAR, divorce is difficult enough: It's tough on spouses and on the kids. Making it even more problematic are Florida's draconian, permanent alimony laws. Former spouses should not come out of a bad marriage only to find themselves financially tied to their exes for the rest of their life.
While alimony laws were meant to help former spouses who were incapable of being financially independent, they also were created when women were viewed as the "weaker sex" and many did not work, FAR claims.
While times have changed, laws governing divorce have failed to keep up. There is a nationwide movement to amend those laws. Tavaras, Fla.-based Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) is leading the charge. It has been conducting town hall meetings statewide to educate the public about the need for reform. FAR's efforts will culminate on Nov. 10 with a Statewide Town Hall meeting at the Embassy Suites in Tampa, Fla. (10220 Palm River Road, Tampa, Fla. 33619). FAR Leadership will be in attendance, and State Representative Peter Nehr (R-Dist 48) will be speaking on behalf of alimony reform.
These are FAR's five key goals:
- Removal of permanent alimony from present statutes
- The need for alimony payers to have the right to retire at the federal retirement age or standard retirement age for high-risk professions
- A defined amount based on a formula that is fair, and averages incomes for both spouses.
- Second wives' or husbands' income shall not be used to calculate an upward modification of alimony
- The right to modify a current judgment
With a membership of more than 2,200, the organization successfully got its proposal through the State House, but it stalled in the Senate. This year, the organization will return to Tallahassee, working harder than ever to create change.
"Over the past few years we have established our credibility and professionalism with the Florida Legislature," said Alan Frisher, FAR's co-director and Spokesman. "This has been a critical step in the legislative process to insure that our voice is heard and respected. We have, and will continue to educate lawmakers, about the facts surrounding alimony so that they understand what needs to be done in constructing a new, effective law."
Paying ex-spouses aren't the only ones looking to change the law. Debbie Leff Israel formed the Second Wives Club, a subgroup of Florida Alimony Reform. The Weston, Fla. resident got involved when she learned that if she married her fiancé, his ex-wife would be entitled to some of her salary as well.
"Why doesn't a new potential spouse want to get married? Because when someone like me who is engaged to an alimony payer gets married, then my assets increase his ability to pay and potentially my income can go toward an ex-wife's alimony," said Leff Israel.
Today's alimony laws are oppressive and harsh enough to create dire financial consequences for any money earner, forcing them into bankruptcy or, if they can't pay, send them to jail. FAR's goal is simple: Create a system whereby alimony serves as a transition to independence and doesn't result in a lifetime of entitlement.
The Florida Alimony Reform logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11350
Founded in 2010, Florida Alimony Reform was created to change the state's antiquated alimony laws. Based in Tavaras, Fla., FAR represents more than 2,000 families across the state.
Source: Florida Alimony Reform