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Florida might soon put an end to permanent alimony

Divorces in Florida often involve questions concerning alimony, and this can be a heated topic of debate, especially of a spouse is in danger of having to pay permanent alimony. Permanent alimony occurs when an ex-husband or ex-wife is required to pay a certain amount of money for the rest of his or her ex-spouse's life. Many people feel that permanent alimony is unfair and a lot of Florida lawmakers agree. In fact, a new bill will soon be voted on in Tallahassee, which could end permanent alimony once and for all.

According to Rep. Colleen Burton, who spearheaded the bill, the measure will stop permanent alimony payments. She said that the bill would take effect throughout the state of Florida, no matter where someone is located.

According to one Tampa-based family law lawyer who supports the measure, the bill -- which also offers a formula for deciding cases of limited alimony -- will provide much-needed uniformity to alimony-related decisions. The family lawyer said that they have seven judges in Tampa who decide family law cases, and this can result in seven different outcomes depending on the judge -- a situation which the attorney argues is not fair.

According to one woman, her ex-husband is currently getting 65 percent of her income via alimony payments. The woman said that no adult should be living off of another adult. She said that people 18 and up should be responsible for themselves, and getting married should not be a way to escape this kind of a responsibility.

However, some stay-at-home moms are worried that the law will financially cripple them. One woman -- who says her ex-husband cheated on her and domestically abused her -- said that if mothers have no promise of permanent alimony, they might be compelled to stay in a bad and abusive relationship for financial reasons.

A previous attempt at ending permanent alimony was shot down in 2013 because Gov. Rick Scott said it would retroactively affect mothers who are currently relying on alimony payments. Whether he will veto this measure as well remains to be seen.

Source: news4jax.com, "Could permanent alimony be eliminated?," Matt Galka, Feb. 04, 2016

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