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New Florida Alimony Bill - What Is the Ripple Effect?

Here is an interesting issue. What about a man who retires because he is a multi-millionaire? Does he get to stop paying alimony, assuming the former wife still has need for it? There is no question of his ability to pay.

If the alimony law is to be changed, then it can no longer be a material change of circumstances justifying the reduction of alimony, either as to amount or length if the wife goes to work or reduces her expenses to save, and the law must be changed to provide that saving money is a legal need.

I would try to table this bill, if possible, until a meaningful determination can be made of its ripple effect.

Remember family law court is a court of equity. The result must be fair in each and every case. it is the facts that determine what constitutes a fair result. Both parties need to walk into a court with a level playing field. The trial judge must have full discretion to fashion a resolution that is fair to both sides and, importantly, to both parties’ children.

If discretion is taken away from the trial judge, then the appellate law must also be considered. Right now, the trial judge’s decision is clothed with a strong presumption of correctness. The Appellant must show an abuse of discretion before the trial judge’s decision can be reversed.

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