Changes in alimony and child custody could come to Florida

If you're marred for a significant amount of time, you may find that your attorney informs you about the ability to seek alimony. This is particularly common in relationships where you are a home-based parent or work a job that supports your spouse; you may also be given alimony as a way to receive payments to raise your income and provide you with a similar lifestyle as you had in your marriage.

A new Florida bill could change the rules of divorce though, taking away alimony early from many people who would otherwise receive it permanently, and it's making some people wary of the potential consequences. According to a Feb. 8 report, lawmakers in the state are considering changing how alimony works and changing how much time parents who are not the primary custodians of their children get to spend with their children. Both potential changes have significant numbers of advocates along with those who disagree with the terms of the changes.

The alimony reform bill could be the end of permanent alimony payments, and that has some people upset. While those against lifetime alimony say it's not fair to those who are earning a living to have to pay for another person's lifestyle, others claim that it is fair, because it compensates those who have given up careers to be stay-at-home parents, among other reasons.

The child custody bill would provide a more even distribution of time between parents and children; it would, essentially, provide 50-50 time shares. That can be difficult on children in some cases, while in others it will provide a parent greater access to his or her children over time.

Source: CBS 12, "Florida bill proposes changes to rules of divorce," Jillian Brynne, Feb. 08, 2016

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