Florida Gov. Scott vetoes bill that would end permanent alimony in state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a bill late Wednesday that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida.
Scott vetoed the measure (SB 718) just four hours before the midnight deadline to approve or veto it. The bill automatically would have become law if Scott had done nothing by then.
If it had become law, Florida would have become the fifth state to abolish permanent alimony.
In a letter to Senate President Don Gaetz, Scott commended bill sponsors Ritch Workman in the House and Kelli Stargel in the Senate — both Republicans — and said there are “several forward looking elements of this bill.”
But alimony “represents an important remedy for our judiciary to use in providing support to families as they adjust to changes in life circumstances,” Scott wrote. “As a husband, father and grandfather, I understand the vital importance of family.”

Written by Fox News. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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Child support payments could go up significantly

Some child support payments in Maryland could soon go up – a change that state Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald called “long overdue.”

For the first time in two decades, lawmakers are poised to revise the guidelines that courts use to set child support when divorcing or unmarried parents cannot agree on an amount. Those guidelines are based on household expense data from the 1970s, and although they accommodate rising incomes, advocates say they don’t account for the escalating costs of raising a child.

Human Resources officials estimate there are about 500,000 child support orders in Maryland – a mix of private agreements and court cases.

Written by Julie Bykowicz. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Same-sex divorce request to test Indiana law

An Indiana man who married his same-sex partner in Massachusetts is testing his home state’s legal boundaries, having filed a divorce petition there despite the state’s refusal to recognize such unions.

Donald Schultz Lee doesn’t meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Massachusetts, so his attorney filed his petition to divorce Justin Schultz Lee with the Marion County clerk’s office in Indianapolis.

Clerk Beth White told WISH-TV that last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is likely to “create some situations I think all around the state of Indiana that many of us are not used to handling.”

Written by The Daily Caller. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

State Rep. Ford declares gay marriage support

It didn’t come quickly, the decision to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, but on Memorial Day when State Rep. LaShawn Ford said he would vote this week in favor of gay marriage in Illinois, the choice seemed clear to him.

“This is a well-thought-out decision,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Journal.

Ford, a one-time seminarian, said he had prayed over it. He said he has been swamped with strong opinions from constituents on both sides of the controversy. He acknowledged he has felt heavy lobbying from a politically active segment of the black clergy.

In the end, though, he said “it is like the time has come” for gay marriage to be legal.

“When you think about the moral issue, this is about advancing opportunity,” he said, “the opportunity for all people to pursue life, liberty and happiness. As Democrats we are about opportunity, about including people, not excluding.”

Written by Dan Haley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Both Sides on Same-Sex Marriage Issue Focus on the Next State Battlegrounds

With the expected addition of Californians after Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling, some 30 percent of Americans will live in states offering same-sex marriage.

Now the two sides of the marriage wars are gearing up to resume the costly state-by-state battles that could, in the hopes of each, spread marriage equality to several more states in the next few years, or reveal a brick wall of values that cannot be breached. There is wide agreement from both sides on where the next battlefields will be.

Proponents of same-sex marriage were already energized by victories in six states over the last year, bringing the total number authorizing such unions to 12 states, before California, and the District of Columbia. They are hoping for legislative victories this fall or next spring in Illinois and possibly New Jersey and Hawaii.

Written by Erik Eckholm. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Gay divorce, the next frontier

Margaret Klaw is a founding partner of Berner Klaw & Watson, a law firm in Philadelphia, and author of the forthcoming book “Keeping It Civil: The Case of the Pre-Nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer.”

When the Supreme Court ruled a key aspect of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional last month, it made a life-changing difference to many married same-sex couples, who will now be entitled to all the federal benefits they were previously denied. But those gay couples whose marriages aren’t working out remain in legal purgatory.

Divorce is solely the province of state law. If a couple who were wed in New York but live in Philadelphia want to be divorced, well, they can’t be. Not only is same-sex marriage prohibited in Pennsylvania — the court’s landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor does nothing to change that — but Pennsylvania’s “mini DOMA,” passed in 1996, provides that such a marriage entered into elsewhere is “void in this Commonwealth.” And if Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize you as being married, its courts have no authority to divorce you.

Written by Margaret Klaw. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com