Gov. Rick Scott failed — badly — when he vetoed SB668, the Legislature’s latest effort to reform alimony and child custody post-divorce. He failed the children of Florida; he failed the parents of Florida; he failed women; he failed men. Apparently, the only group he didn’t fail is the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar.
SB668 was a moderate bill. Nothing in it would have radically altered Florida law. Under it, divorcing spouses could continue to count on alimony commensurate with the length of their marriage and their earning power. Only alimony that was automatically permanent was done away with.
More important was the shared-parenting provision of the bill. It required judges in child custody cases to begin with the premise that children benefit from seeing each parent equally. But judges still would have discretion to decide parenting time according to the 20 factors that already guide those decisions. The best interests of the child would have been, as it is now, the desired outcome of every parenting time decision. Opponents repeatedly claimed that SB668 “mandated 50/50 parenting.” That was frankly untrue.