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Florida women push for alimony law reform

In modern times, alimony woes can affect either gender. The end of a marriage can result in women paying their ex-husbands alimony and giving them their assets. This non-traditional divorce settlement is especially prevalent in cases where the working woman is the primary breadwinner. In response to what some advocacy groups decry as outdated legislation that works against many Florida women, a group called Florida women for alimony reform is pressing to revive a bill vetoed by the state's governor in May.

Many women all over the country now earn as much or more than many men. When they end up in divorce court, they are ordered to pay their husbands alimony. One 67-year-old retired woman who worked all of her life now pays her ex-husband over $500 a month in alimony because he spent his retirement funds on cars.

Women on the opposite end of the spectrum are pushing for change in the alimony laws as well. Those in their 50s and 60s who get divorced after a 25-year marriage that included being caregivers and homemakers for years are forced to pick up their careers because they failed to receive alimony. A new bill proposes that alimony payers should be allowed to retire, and it includes a payment provision that averages the incomes for both spouses.

Future laws regarding alimony could make payments and settlements less of a burden for those who have worked and devoted much of their lives to their families. In the meantime, a divorce attorney may work towards a collaborative separation or divorce and guide a divorcing spouse through the decision-making process. The attorney may also be able to help both spouses come to an amicable and fair agreement that is mutually acceptable.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Some women now pressing for changes in alimony law", Donna Gehrke-White, August 03, 2013

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