Governor Rick Scott just vetoed Bill SB 668 after the bill passed the Senate and the House. He has vetoed similar bills in the past. The bill would have called for drastic changes to how alimony is handled in Florida.
SB 668 Would Have Brought Major Changes
A recent piece from Florida Politics discusses some of the controversy associated with Bill SB 668. Initially, the bill was intended to reform alimony. It would have allowed for reduction in permanent alimony in select situations. However, the bill was amended to include a completely separate issue: a requirement for 50-50 division of parenting time.
This new aspect of the bill was favored by many fathers' rights groups, who claimed it would have made it easier for them to protect their relationships with their children. Unfortunately, this aspect of the bill was also a key reason for the veto, as Scott stated that the changes would have put the focus on the needs of the parents, rather than the child.
Representative Ritch Workman, one of the bill's creators, recognizes that combining two distinct issues in the same piece of legislation proved problematic. He has stated that he will address these issues separately in the future.
How Alimony And Child Custody Work Currently
Child custody is to be dictated by the best interest of the child, not the needs of the parents. That may mean a 50-50 split of parenting time in some situations, but frequently the balance is tipped based on what is right for the child.
Florida has five varieties of alimony, none of which are guaranteed in the event of a divorce. Alimony is determined based on many factors, including the length of the marriage. Each spouse's income and earning capacity also plays an important role. Some types of alimony may be modified in some circumstances.
Whether you are involved in a dispute over child custody, alimony or both, you can find an attorney and advocate at Wood & Associates. We can help you understand your rights under current Florida family law, and we can help you pursue a positive outcome.