Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Alimony payments and laws are changing all the time; Now, there's a new bill in Florida's House that has cleared the first panel. What would this new bill do?

The new bill is meant to effectively end permanent alimony, which is when a man or woman has to pay his or her ex a certain amount of money each month for the rest of his or her life or for the long term. Why is ending permanent alimony such a big deal? Some people -- those who are the higher earners in the relationship -- believe it's unfair to pay alimony for the long-term. Alimony shouldn't be a long-term solution, as it just finances the other person, they may claim. However, those who receive it say they should, because they are unable to get back into the workforce or get the level of job necessary to have the same standard of living enjoyed previously.

The new bill would adjust alimony laws to stop alimony sooner. Some say that can be devastating, though. One woman in her 70s claims she works three jobs and has her permanent alimony and social security. She needs the alimony to make ends meet; she claims she has low social security payments due to her low lifetime earnings thanks to working less than her ex-husband. Another argument against the bill is that it would penalize those who were at-home parents by taking away an income that makes up for their lost earnings over the years.

Alimony can be contentious, but it can also be in the best interest of a person to request and get it for the long term. Your attorney can discuss what these changes could mean for you if the laws are changed.

Source: Florida Politics, "Alimony Overhaul Bill Clears First House Panel," Jim Rosica, Nov. 18, 2015

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