New Divorce Laws Coming to Florida

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC

In a very interesting turn of events, Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill which easily passed both the House and Senate, changing the way divorce is handled in Florida.  If the bill became law, permanent alimony would have been abolished and custody arrangements would begin with a 50/50 split.  Many states have already abolished permanent alimony and the latest trend seems to be moving in that direction.  While judges in Florida were already prejudiced towards a 50/50 split of custody, this bill would have forced them to begin from there and change only if there were extenuating circumstances.

The hiccup in the bill, however, was that it had a retroactive clause which could have potentially changed every divorce already agreed upon in the courts.  According to the news report below, this is precisely the reason why Governor Scott vetoed the bill.


If the bill became law, nearly every divorce already finalized with alimony and custody arrangements could have gone back to the courts.  Such a move would have made many attorneys wealthy.

Since this bill easily passed both the House and Senate, it is likely to be reintroduced in the next session without the retroactive clause.  The bottom line is that if you are in the middle of a divorce and don’t want your custody split to be 50/50, than finalize the divorce now.  Don’t wait because you might not get a better deal later.

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