It’s not uncommon for a divorce to be messy when it comes to disagreements about alimony, child custody and child support. The Florida Legislature has been working on divorce law reforms in hopes of making divorce more fair and less difficult on families. Changes to alimony and custody are framing the way to a fair divorce.
New laws making divorce easier on families
The House and The Senate have new reform bills that they hope will make divorce in Florida fairer on both parties involved. The outcome these bills hope to make is changing the assumptions that in divorce, alimony is forever and that one parent should be favored in a custody agreement.
Alimony reform in divorce
House Bill 455 was made to make paying alimony after a divorce fairer. This bill would provide formulas to courts for deciding how long alimony should be paid and how much is owed depending on how long the couple was married. The amount paid would depend on how high the spouse’s income is and the length of the payments would depend on how long the marriage lasted.
In the current 35-year-old alimony law, judges presented with similar cases and facts have been able to order the spouses to pay wildly different amounts in alimony. There has been no strict formula they have been required to stick to.
Custody reform in divorce
The Senate Bill 250 would require judges to presume that 50-50 custody of the children involved in the divorce is in their best interest. Judges can still consider multiple factors when deciding whether parents should share equal custody, including each parent’s “abilities,” the difficulty if the parents live far apart and the preference of the child.
Passing new reform laws for a fairer divorce
This new legislation would not affect divorce settlements that have already been approved by the court. It just aims to make divorce a fairer process and hopefully eliminate the stigma of winners and losers in a divorce.