Florida Lawmakers Try Again To End Permanent Alimony

Feb 25, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed an alimony reform bill passed by the Florida Legislature in 2013. Lawmakers chose not to pursue the issue in 2014 - an election year where fiscal concerns like tax cuts took center stage.
Credit WMNF Community Radio/flickr

The rules surrounding alimony are back before the Florida Legislature. It’s been almost two years since Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have stopped permanent spousal support and reopened divorce cases.

"What I was concerned about on that was the retroactive part of it, that we could go back and review prior agreements,” Scott told reporters after vetoing the bill passed by the Legislature in 2013.

New bills filed in the House and Senate will try again to make changes to Florida’s alimony system. The big difference this time is that the legislation cannot be applied to divorces that have already been settled, although judges would have the discretion of making changes to long-standing alimony agreements.

Going forward, judges would use a formula -- which would include income and length of marriage -- to determine the amount of payments. Those guidelines would do away with most cases of permanent alimony.

The proposal would also reduce or eliminate payments when payers reach retirement age.

News Service of Florida contributed to this story.