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

Divorce Is…’ 40 Words That Define Divorce

If you could choose only one word to describe the experience of divorce, which word would you pick?

It’s not an easy task, but when we took the prompt to our readers on Facebook and Twitter recently, they drew from experience and offered up a wide range of definitions. While some said a split was “sobering” and “trying,” others adopted a more positive outlook — “pivotal,” one said, while a reader on Facebook likened divorce to rebirth.

Click through the slides below to read all of the answers, then head to the comments and let us know which word you’d pick to define divorce.

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Special Report: Lack of a prenup imperils oil billionaire’s fortune

(Reuters) – The divorce of oil baron Harold Hamm has had its dramatic moments. Among them: allegations that Harold was unfaithful – and a heated debate over whether the court should order his wife, Sue Ann, to turn over secret video and audio recordings she made of him at home.

But the split of the Continental Resources chief executive’s fortune, worth at least $11 billion, could turn on the absence of a single document – and result in the largest divorce settlement in history.

Despite efforts by the Hamms to keep their divorce proceedings secret, Reuters has learned that the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement when they were married 25 years ago.

Such an agreement, common when one or both spouses bring substantial wealth into a marriage, would have spelled out how to divide marital assets in the event of a divorce.

Written by Joshua Schneyer, Brian Grow and Jeanine Prezioso. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption

A great many of our fellow citizens see demands for homosexual marriage as just one more step in the democratic struggle against injustice and discrimination, a continuation of the fight against racism. It is in the name of equality, of open-mindedness, of being progressive and right-thinking that we are asked to accept this challenge to the foundations of our society. It seems, moreover, on the basis of public opinion polls, that this challenge is already accepted by a majority of our fellow citizens and thus the question of its establishment as a matter of law has not provoked a debate worthy of the momentous issues at stake.

I believe, on the contrary, that it is a matter of the greatest importance to make clear the true implications of the negation of sexual difference and to debate publicly what is at stake rather than falling back on principles, such as equality, that flatter those who set themselves up as their standard bearers, even though the way these principles are invoked to justify the homosexual-marriage agenda does not stand up to critical scrutiny. This subject deserves better than the court of political correctness, whose authority, advocates of homosexual marriage hope, will prevail until the law is voted on—a tribunal they defend by means of disqualifying caricatures against anyone who dares to question their project and their motives.

Written by Gilles Bernheim. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

4 in 10 1st marriages end in divorce: report

The traditional definition of family is changing in Canada, with four in 10 first marriages ending in divorce, according to a new study.

For the first time in Canadian history, there are more unmarried people than legally married people age 15 and over in this country, says the study from the Vanier Institute of the Family released Monday in Ottawa.

It was based on data from the 2006 census, and some of the information has been reported in the years since.

Do you think marriage is still important in modern society? Take our survey.

“Marriage is still a vitally important part of the experience of families in the fabric of our country and most young people do aspire to marriage,” said Clarence Lochhead, executive director of the Vanier Institute, adding that even people who have divorced or separated will end up partnering up again.

“We just have to come to grips with the diversity that actually is within our experience. Then we need to find ways to address and take on the challenges that face families, but do it in an inclusive way that makes sense for the reality and not some ideal notion of what a family is or ought to be.”

Written by CBC News. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Divorce Rates Threaten Marriage More Than a DOMA Repeal

The Supreme Court deliberates on whether the Defense of Marriage Act holds constitutionally, the nation focuses on the constitutional implications of gay marriages. Yet even without the addition of same-gender marriage, the social institution of traditional marriage continues to change and evolve with culture and time. As a result of the dramatic culture shifts of the past few decades, America continues to face a devaluation of traditional marriage not at the hands of the gay and lesbian community, but rather because of a phenomenally high divorce rate.
The American divorce rate continues to be above 50%. First marriages experience a success rate of 40-50% and subsequent marriage success rates offer diminishing returns.
Marriage offers individuals a high happiness quotient and provides a strong backbone for America’s families. As a social institution, it continues to provide strong infrastructure for those who are able to commit to and maintain their vows. However, social mores change. Increases in premarital cohabitation and sex, as well as the cultural acceptance of divorce, contribute to a growing marriage crisis in this country.

Written by Sara Stringer. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Is Divorce Bad for Children?

Many of the 1.5 million children in the U.S. whose parents divorce every year feel as if their worlds are falling apart. Divorcing parents are usually very concerned about the welfare of their children during this troublesome process. Some parents are so worried that they remain in unhappy marriages, believing it will protect their offspring from the trauma of divorce.

Yet parents who split have reasons for hope. Researchers have found that only a relatively small percentage of children experience serious problems in the wake of divorce or, later, as adults. In this column, we discuss these findings as well as factors that may protect children from the potentially harmful effects of divorce.

Rapid Recovery

Divorce affects most children in the short run, but research suggests that kids recover rapidly after the initial blow. In a 2002 study psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia and her then graduate student Anne Mitchell Elmore found that many children experience short-term negative effects from divorce, especially anxiety, anger, shock and disbelief. These reactions typically diminish or disappear by the end of the second year. Only a minority of kids suffer longer.

Written by Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld. To read the full article, click here.