“The Change is Long Overdue” ~ Florida Senate Bill 250 for Equal Shared Parenting is now law.

Permanent alimony, defined formulas are key points in new legislation

By Paul Giorgio – Producer

Justice Denied - No Jury in Family Courts - 2016

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Major changes could be coming to Florida’s alimony law.

Alan Frisher, co-founder of The Family Law Reform advocacy group, said the change is long overdue.

“I think our laws are really archaic,” he said. “We haven’t changed our laws for the last 50 years in essence and now it’s time to really make the change.”

Frisher said there are five key points to the proposed law. In addition to the removal of permanent alimony and the ability to modify or eliminate alimony at retirement, the bill also defines a formula judges must use when determining settlements.

“We want to be able to give judges discretion, but we don’t want to give them so much discretion that there’s no consistency from one sector to another, because right now there’s no predictability or consistency,” Frisher said.

Currently if someone paying alimony remarries, the courts can view the new spouse’s income as ‘family income’ that is eligible for an upward modification in payment.

Under the current law, modification is also possible if a payer earns a greater yearly salary. Payers cannot be brought back to court under the new bill.

A similar bill was vetoed in 2013 by Gov. Rick Scott. That bill had language that would have allowed it to apply retroactively. Scott said it would have unanticipated results. HB 943 has eliminated that language.

Source: New bill could mean big changes for alimony in Florida

Children are human beings, not belongings. Children need the love, caring, nurturing, and guidance of both their mother and father throughout their lives. “Awarding” custody of a child to either the mother or father in divorce creates an atmosphere of contempt and competition, but more importantly it deprives the child of the benefit of the day to day nurturing of either their mother or father. 

The Boston-based National Parents Organization believes the state’s child custody law is outdated and does not fit the modern family. The overhaul bill would allow children to spend more time with the non-custodial parent, typically the father.

President of the National Parents Organization Ned Holstein told 22News, “It decreases hostility and bitterness between parents. It treats them more fairly. It encourages judges to favor a parent who is cooperating with the other parent.”Dysfunctional Family Courts - 2015

Opponents believe the bill is centered too much on the parents and does not put enough emphasis on the children. Women’s Bar Association Kim Doughterty said, “Parents who deserve custody will get custody if it’s in the best interest of the child.”

Encourage family court judges to award at least one-third of the parenting time to each parent after the divorce. Give judges more power to punish parents who do not comply with time orders. One state lawmaker told 22News the state should slowly implement changes to the child custody law.

“You move things gradually. You don’t want to necessarily throw the family court into a tizzy,” said State Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk).

Much of the bill is inspired by a state working group established by former Governor Deval Patrick.

Source: The Family Law Reform Advocacy Group, said “the change is long overdue”. – Family Law Reform

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4 thoughts on ““The Change is Long Overdue” ~ Florida Senate Bill 250 for Equal Shared Parenting is now law.

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  2. Every child deserves an involved dad.

    Many people are surprised at the research which shows a connection between father absence and an increase in social problems in America including: poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, physical abuse, suicide, substance and alcohol abuse and a host of other troubling social problems. The sad fact is that not only does father absence hurt children, fathers suffer as well.

    Developing positive relationships with their children encourages and motivates fathers to lead more constructive lives, even in the most difficult of circumstances. For instance, the simple act of regularly writing to their children from prison improves outcomes for incarcerated fathers, including increasing their odds of training for, finding, and keeping a job once they reenter society. Evidence shows that fathers who write to their children once a week have a lower risk of violence in prison and recidivism when released. These positive outcomes are multiplied when we study the impact on the children of inmates, and how father contact can change the trend of their children’s lives – even while the father is still incarcerated.

    In addition, research and experience tell us that there is a strong correlation between lack of father involvement and many larger social challenges. Sadly, trends are against us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, in a study that investigated these trends, 2006 – 2010, “fewer fathers now live with their children” over the period studied. Reasons for this depressing trend include incarceration, non-marital childbearing and other factors.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America, one out of three children in America, now live in biological father-absent homes. Furthermore, according to the national surveys conducted by NFI, 9 in 10 parents believe there is a father absence crisis in America.

    This study, an excellent resource on the impact of father-child involvement, also describes how “increased involvement of fathers in their children’s lives has been associated with a range of positive outcomes for the children.”

    Fatherhood is in crisis in America, and you can help. By using our evidence-based programs your department, agency, or not-for-profit group can increase father involvement, improve the lives of children everywhere, and reverse negative trends in a wide range of social issues. Or, by becoming an individual activist, you can bring fatherhood programming to your community and help to reduce a host of social ills in your neighborhood.

    NFI is a nationally respected, oft-cited, non-profit organization committed to better outcomes for children and our society as a whole. Our research and programs make a positive difference in the relationships between fathers and children – even in cases where a father is not physically present in the home. You don’t have to be a bystander to the fatherhood crisis in America; you can help to turn the tide and help us create a world in which every child has a 24/7 Dad.

    Thank you for your interest and support,

    The National Fatherhood Initiative® Team – http://www.fatherhood.org/social-problems-in-america

    Liked by 3 people

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