Florida Alimony and Child Support laws are once again back in the spotlight after a 2013 Bill was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott. The once flawed bill now substantially modified, is still facing controversy where it involves child sharing.
In the current Bill RS 668, child sharing will be assumed 50/50. Both parents will be treated equally when they enter into a courthouse and alimony will have payment limitations to 25 to 75 percent of the length of the marriage based on a court based formula, ending permanent alimony. Alimony adjustments can also be sought if the paying partner retires or should the receiving partner increase their income by 10 percent or be in a new supportive relationship.

A more immediate concern for the courts is inequitable options for those who can not afford a lawyer to make any challenge against the standard. It could also be used in paternity cases to attempt to lower or avoid support payments to those who have not seen a child in years.

The sorted details of families would be brought into the court room for final decision making. All those findings would be published on final judgments and this could have terrible long term effects on families as a whole.

Currently judges use over 20 factors to establish how much time a child will spend with either parent but also leaving room for circumstances based on each individual case.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon has been the main supporter of the bill. His argument states that the bill would create greater predictability and reliability than the current vague policy. Others such as The Family Law Reform Group, have been pushing for these alimony changes as well as fighting for the rights of both alienated parents caught in the cross fires of a flawed judicial system as well as children rights to have access to both parents.

All of these concerns come with the possibility that 50/50 sharing is not always in the best interest of the child and a judge has the right to determine that.

The bill will become law on October 1 soul Rick Scott sign once it hits his desk.We should know more on this case mid-April 2016. Updates to come!