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Florida budget cuts hit programs for divorced and abused women

Gov. Rick Scott recently made a line-item veto in the new state budget that cuts funding to the state’s Displaced Homemakers Program, according to a recent report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.   The Displaced Homemakers Program provides divorced, abused and widowed women access to various training and education opportunities.

The program helps women who are struggling to get back on their feet with skills that are essential for earning an income. 

The cuts mean that the program’s operators must find other sources of funding if they are to continue to offer services to women.

According to the news report, most program participants are over 35 and have spent their adult lives as homemakers. Many come from abusive families, and require both guidance and training to find gainful employment.

The news report suggested that Gov. Scott believes other state-operated programs can cover the important role of the Displaced Homemakers Program.

Women who worked as homemakers during their marriages often suffer financial consequences during divorce, which is one reason programs like the one discussed above are important. Divorce-related financial troubles, however, can sometimes be avoided if an appropriate alimony arrangement is reached during the divorce process. Alimony can sometimes be awarded for rehabilitative purposes, in order to help the lower-income spouse obtain training in order to increase his or her earning potential. Permanent spousal support is also available in some cases.

Those who are going through a divorce in Florida should discuss their alimony needs, as well as their short- and long-term financial concerns, with their family law attorneys.

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “Scott veto risks divorced, abused women,” Shelby Webb and Lloyd Dunkelberger, June 25, 2013