Florida’s alimony laws were written when women had little economic power, when divorce was uncommon, and cohabiting was scandalous. Those days are long gone, but the old-fashioned alimony laws — favoring permanent alimony, until death — linger.
The laws cause immense hardship for those who must support an ex-spouse until he dies or she dies, even for marriages of fewer than 10 years and even to healthy women who begin collecting at 33 years old.
Current alimony law in Florida is emotionally and financially harmful to many families. As an example, many couples who wish to tie the knot are forgoing marriage because, under current Florida law, income from the “new” spouse can go toward alimony payments of the ex-spouse.
The current alimony laws are unfair, not just to the payers but to their children, their new spouses — and even the recipients, who are told never move on with their lives, and who remain on lifetime welfare. The public thinks it’s unfair — and so do most of Florida’s legislators. Twice now, once in 2013, and again in 2016, Florida legislators have voted to update the laws with new limits and plenty of room for judges to make decisions in unusual cases. Unfortunately, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the bill both times.