Florida Alimony Battle

Posted on December 3, 2011 by


Two Florida legislators spearheading a drive to update Florida’s antiquated alimony laws have earned accolades from Florida Alimony Reform (FAR). The advocacy group is leading the fight to bring the state’s alimony laws into the 21st century. The laws, considered among the harshest and most out-of-date in the country, make routine awards of permanent alimony that do not end even after payers retire. The group points to examples of abuses, such as healthy, working women who receive permanent alimony in their 30s and 40s; payers who must continue payments to ex-spouses who cohabit for years; retired men paying upwards of 50 percent of their income in alimony; and alimony payers forced to live on less money than recipients.

The bill is already being lambasted by commentators and lawyers throughout the state as being too “pro-male”:

“My initial take is that it’s basically anti-woman and anti-alimony,” said Richard West, a past president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “More importantly, the bill was not very well thought out.”

…attorneys agreed that some horror stories are out there and that some reforms are needed. But they also stressed that the horror stories aren’t the norm — and that Workman’s bill could impact all kinds of routine settlements, even in ways he didn’t intend, and mostly at the expense of women.

This commentator marvels at how little outcry is heard against legislation that is anti-male. Additionally, the men who are not routinely ordered to pay alimony are often hit with the same hardship. It’s usually alimony masquerading as child support.

If a woman files for divorce and requests alimony, she should have to prove fault on the part of her husband. Conversely, if a husband leaves his wife who has been primarily a homemaker throughout the marriage, he should have to prove fault on the part of his wife.