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The push for alimony reform continues in Florida

Many Florida residents are likely aware of the controversy surrounding the recent push for a reform of the current laws surrounding an important component of many divorces in Florida. There is a big push right now to reform the laws surrounding alimony particularly the issue of permanent alimony. The group that is advocating this reform believes that the current laws are unfair and leave many with undue financial burdens that cannot be met by many who are ordered to pay alimony on a permanent basis.

There is currently a procedure to seek modification of an existing alimony order. To do so, an individual must prove that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, such as a health crisis or a loss of a job. However, the litigation costs involved in pursuing this procedure can be exorbitant and difficult for many to meet.

Even though many more women now constitute the primary breadwinners in many homes, many states still have outdated laws on the books regarding alimony, which have not been reformed since their initial enactment in the 1950's. These laws were originally enacted to protect those women who had not pursued an outside career, and had dedicated their entire lives to being dutiful wives and mothers to their children. These laws were designed to ensure that they were not left destitute and powerless should their husbands decide to abandon the household.

In today's society, roles have changed, and things have gotten more and more complicated. Both men and women can be left without a job and little prospects for re-employment. It has become increasingly difficult for some men to continue to meet their financial obligations without being forced into bankruptcy or the foreclosure of their home. However, there certainly are many spouses who have valid claims to alimony and who would be struggling enormously without this financial assistance.

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Source: Space Coast Daily, "Alimony Reform Group Aims To Update Florida Laws," Jan. 31, 2013.

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