Changes Could be Coming to Florida's Alimony Laws

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By: Mike Springer
February 14, 2013

Tallahassee, FL-With roughly 50 percent of U.S. marriages ending in a divorce according a federal report, alimony payments are not uncommon.

But a bill sponsored by Republican Representative Ritch Workman of Melbourne may soon change how those payments are made. It's known as house bill 231 or the 'Dissolution of Marriage' bill.

The bill would lessen the number of payments required by those whose marriages last less than 10 years and would protect retirees from payments.

The bill would also allow from preexisting alimony payments to be revisited and possibly reduced.

"The proposed changes, if enacted as the way they are currently drafted would be disastrous for Florida families," said family attorney, Thomas Duggar.

Duggar sees the proposed bill only hurting those spouses who gave up their careers to stay home and raise a family.

"You would see a huge subset of people, specifically people who have stayed at home to raise their children left with shortened alimony awards from a duration perspective, shortened amounts of time and shortened amounts of money that they would receive," said Duggar.

But not everyone sees the proposed bill as a bad thing.

"Having to go through paying a lot of payments after a divorce can be difficult and we all have an equal chance at making money," said Cassie McGlynn, a Tallahassee resident.

The bill passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on a 10-2 vote Wednesday.

It's scheduled to come up before the House Judiciary Committee next

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