Alimony Reform Summit Draws Nearly 300 in Orlando

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ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hundreds of Family Law Reform members, including many family law attorneys, gathered in Orlando for the first ever Summit of its kind to learn how changes in the new Florida Alimony Reform Bill could eventually help them renegotiate their divorce settlements.

As the law is currently written, anyone who has been ordered to pay permanent alimony will continue to do so regardless of his or her situation. However, supporters of the new bill hope that this will change if the new bill meets Governor Scott's approval and becomes law.

In 2013, the alimony reform bill passed in both the House and the Senate, but when it landed on Gov. Scott's desk, he vetoed and said that the retroactivity portion was unfair. Now, there will be no more retroactivity.

"Circumstances change in everyone's lives and the current law doesn't allow for any practical modification even if a divorcee gets sick or loses a job," said Family Law Reform President Alan Frisher. "This new bill will give people with monumental life-changes a chance to adapt their current settlement into something they can handle."

As this bill is re-drafted for the 2014 legislative session, Family Law Reform will work to include these key elements:

  • Removal of permanent alimony from the present statutes;
  • The need for the alimony payer to have the right to retire at Federal Retirement age or standard retirement age for 'high risk' professions;
  • A defined amount based on a percentage that is fair and which averages incomes for both spouses;
  • Second spouses' income shall not be used to calculate an upward modification of alimony;
  • A formal definition for what constitutes 'a substantial change of circumstances'.

"I can see objectively from the outside what the attorneys are doing in this process of divorce, and that's why I have the passion and desire to try to fix this," said Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland). "I'm going to continue to move the ball down the field and allow the conversation towards reform to continue. It's a big, emotional issue that will take significant work to accomplish, but you have my commitment."

"This is not an anti-alimony, anti-spouse or anti-woman bill. This is a bill that simply clarifies and codifies the law to make sure alimony is fair to all involved," said Rep. Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne).

The 2014 legislative session is scheduled to commence in January. In the meantime, Family Law Reform core members will have regular meetings with Governor Scott's staff in order to re-draft a successful bill intended to finally give Florida's permanent alimony payers a sigh of relief.

Founded in 2010, Family Law Reform is a not for profit corporation created to change the state's antiquated alimony laws. Based in Tavares, Florida, FLR represents more than 5,000 families across Florida.

CONTACT: Alan Frisher Family Law Reform 352-577-5706 Media inquiries: Sandra Reichman Boardroom Communications, O: 954-370-8999 C: 203-520-8721

Source: Florida Alimony Reform