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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Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage May Help Resolve Status of Divorce

Adam Cardinal’s wedded life began happily in New Hampshire, where same-sex marriages are legal. It went sour three years later in Florida, where they are not.

Mr. Cardinal, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, separated from his husband several months ago. But the couple cannot get a divorce because, in the eyes of Florida officials, their marriage does not exist.

Returning to New Hampshire to sever the bond is not an option either. Although marrying can be accomplished with a brief visit there, a divorce requires residency in the state for at least a year.

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

Alimony law in Florida changes drastically under new bill

TALLAHASSEE Florida lawmakers sent Gov. Rick Scott a bill Thursday that would drastically overhaul the state’s alimony laws, reforming payments that opponents say have been critical to ex-spouses — mostly women — who are trying to rebuild their lives after the breakup of their marriage.

SB 718, approved by lawmakers by an 85-31 vote, would end permanent alimony, cap alimony awards based on a person’s income and the length of the marriage and make it easier for an ex-spouse to terminate or lower alimony payments upon retirement. It also gives parents equal custody of any children in the marriage.

Written by Kathleen Haughney and Lisa Huriash. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Alimony: Are The Days Of Longterm Alimony Behind Us?

Is longterm alimony becoming less common?

According to Barry I. Finkel, a family law attorney, there is a nationwide trend against lifelong alimony. Finkel stopped by HuffPost Live on June 18 and explained that the changing economic times may be helping make this form of alimony a thing of the past.

“Mostly you live now in two income homes,” he said. “And the times of a woman sacrificing her career to raise the children are few and far between.”

To hear more of Finkel’s thoughts on the subject, check out the video above (and watch the full segment here), then click through the slideshow below to quiz yourself on the biggest celebrity divorce settlements.

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

Lawyers eye NSA data as treasure trove for evidence in murder, divorce cases

The National Security Agency has spent years demanding that companies turn over their data. Now, the spy agency finds the shoe is on the other foot. A defendant in a Florida murder trial says telephone records collected by the NSA as part of its surveillance programs hold evidence that would help prove his innocence, and his lawyer has demanded that prosecutors produce those records. On Wednesday, the federal government filed a motion saying it would refuse, citing national security. But experts say the novel legal argument could encourage other lawyers to fight for access to the newly disclosed NSA surveillance database.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, I guess,” said George Washington University privacy law expert Dan Solove. “In a way, it’s kind of ironic.”

Defendant Terrance Brown is accused of participating in the 2010 murder of a Brinks security truck driver. Brown maintains his innocence, and claims cellphone location records would show he wasn’t at the scene of the crime. Brown’s cellphone provider — MetroPCS — couldn’t produce those records during discovery because it had deleted the data already.

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

Is This The End of Alimony As We Know It?

For probably as long as it has existed, alimony has been a man vs. woman thing. Men get ordered to pay, women get alimony and men get bitter. But as women have become more economically powerful, the game has changed.

In 2012, a new law came into effect in Massachusetts that abolished permanent alimony and set up a formula for future payments. Some men there had been paying for decades to women to whom they’d only been married very briefly. While Massachusetts is the front runner, several states, especially Florida, are rethinking the way alimony is awarded.

Should men still have to pay alimony when women can now be educated and make (almost) as much as men? What about women who live with another guy but still take alimony? What do women who pay alimony think? And if we abolish alimony, how do older women without job skills get by?

Written by Belinda Luscombe. To read the full article, click here.

In Age of Dual Incomes, Alimony Payers Prod States to Update Laws

MIAMI — In the waning days of this year’s legislative session, Florida lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing to overhaul the state’s alimony law in a bid to better reflect today’s marriages and make the system less burdensome for the alimony payer.

Florida joins a grass-roots movement in a growing number of states that seeks to rewrite alimony laws by curbing lifelong alimony and alleviating the financial distress that some payers — still mostly men — say they face. The activists say the laws in several states, including Florida, unfairly favor women and do not take into account the fact that a majority of women work and nearly a third have college degrees.

The Florida House recently approved legislation that would make lifelong alimony more difficult to award and less onerous for the payer and, in the case of a remarriage, would place a new spouse’s income off-limits in awarding payments. Attention turns to the Senate, where the companion bill is less far-reaching. Florida had already changed some provisions in alimony law two years ago.

Written by LIZETTE ALVAREZ. To read the full article, click here.