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First and second wives battle over permanent alimony in Florida

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2019 | Alimony |

Many women who find themselves being dragged in and out of Florida courtrooms over issues surrounding alimony belong to the First Wives Advocacy Group (FWAG).

The group is largely comprised of 50 and 60-year-old former homemakers. Many of them find themselves standing in front of family law judges each year begging them to order their exes to pay their permanent alimony. Many of them spent decades in marriages raising their kids instead of working outside the home. Their husbands were their household’s breadwinners.

Many of the FWAG group members live distinctly different lives now than what they were accustomed to living before. Many are sick or disabled, yet they have to fight each year to keep receiving the alimony that they believe is rightfully their own. These women have recently decided to share their stories with lawmakers in Tallahassee.

FWAG recently took on the Florida Family Law Political Action Committee (PAC). The latter is comprised of alimony payers and their latest wives. They’ve spent the first few months of this year trying to get Florida lawmakers to eliminate permanent alimony and instead adopt formulas for awarding spousal support. Members of FWAG have been working to stall the PAC’s attempts though.

Alimony is a matter that takes up a lot of time of family court judge’s schedules both in Fort Myers and in the rest of Florida. They continue mediating these matters until the paying spouse ultimately runs out of money or dies.

In early March, the PAC’s alimony reform bill was submitted to state lawmakers. The Republican chairman of the civil justice subcommittee declined to schedule the matter for discussion though. He noted that the elimination of permanent alimony is a controversial matter. He said that they simply didn’t have time to give it any more attention than they already had this year. It appears that PAC’s members will have to lobby lawmakers again in 2020 to consider putting up the matter for a vote.

There are many different types of alimony in Florida. Most spouses are awarded temporary support. Only those who have been married a significant amount of time and who are completely reliant upon their spouse’s income to sustain themselves may qualify for permanent alimony. If you’re struggling to determine what type of spousal support is appropriate in your situation, then an alimony attorney can help you sort your options out.


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