TAVARAS, Fla., Jan. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The movement to amend laws governing permanent alimony has been gaining steam in Florida and those opposed to these outdated laws are running scared.
As a result, members of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar have been actively speaking out against efforts to end the antiquated practice that essentially ties former spouses to each other financially for a lifetime.
In a recent op-ed piece, Lakeland attorney Mark Sessums argues that protections exist to ensure that permanent alimony ends at normal retirement age and that the income of a new spouse is not relevant to alimony modification. He states that the system has worked well since alimony was first adopted statutorily in Florida in 1828.
What Attorney Sessums fails to state is that nearly 200 years have passed since those laws were created! Florida wasn't even a state in back in 1828, and while modifications have been made since the early days of alimony, those changes have not been enough to keep up with the times.
Florida Alimony Reform receives daily emails from Floridians all across the state describing how their cases cost them thousands of dollars in attorney fees annually with no end in sight for a final settlement.
Today, permanent alimony payers are both men and women. The days of women staying home to raise a family with no ability to earn an income are over. A recent survey conducted by Prudential Financial found that 53 percent of American women were the main breadwinner in their households.
"While we agree that the law should provide relief if one spouse has been out of the workforce for many years and the marriage ends in divorce, we do not believe that a spouse should be inextricably and financially tied to the other until death do they part," said Alan Frisher, co-director and spokesman for Florida Alimony Reform.
"Attorney Sessums has said that reform is not what is being sought, but that's exactly what Florida Alimony Reform and similarly named organizations around the country, are seeking – reform!" Mr. Frisher continues. "We are not seeking an end to alimony, but instead what we are seeking is to replace permanent alimony with long-term durational alimony when necessary, which ends when the payer reaches federally approved retirement age, unless extraordinary circumstances occur. "
There is agreement between Florida Alimony Reform and the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar "that we need the Legislature and the courts to continue to evolve the alimony laws and to rectify any abuses in the law to preserve and protect the families of the state of Florida."
"As we get closer to the upcoming Legislative session in Florida, you will hear more scare tactics from those opposed to alimony reform. But are they afraid for those who are impacted by divorce, or afraid for their own self-interests?" said Alan Frisher
If the laws are changed to become more fair and equitable for all parties in a divorce, the need to return to the courtroom time and again will be lessened and/or possibly eliminated, and with it, the often outrageous and never-ending attorney's fees that so many Floridians are forced to pay.
Founded in 2010, Florida Alimony Reform was created to change the state's antiquated alimony laws. Based in Tavaras, Fla., FAR represents more than 2,500 families across the state.
The Florida Alimony Reform logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11350
Source: Florida Alimony Reform