Lawmakers have been working on the following bills House Bill 843 and Senate Bill 1832. These “bills” are attempting to modify the process a judge has to follow when he/she is going to award alimony and the bill is lumped with a proposal to require an equal contract presumption for time-sharing. There are many circumstances where equal time-sharing is warranted and deserved. However, there are other times that it is not warranted. Think about the mother who abandons her children for months or years and then is awarded equal time-sharing with the children because this new proposed law would remove the court’s ability to take that factor into consideration. A presumption of equal time-sharing is not necessarily in the best interest of the children. However, it may be in the best interest of the parents. This is not supposed to be the “test,” it is what is in the “best interest of the children.” The judges are to take this into consideration when ordering a time-sharing arrangement.
Trial judges are in the trenches. They see and hear the evidence and have the assistance of expert professionals (therapists, guardian ad litems, social investors). If the lawmakers take away a judge’s ability to fact find, and base their ruling on competent evidence to just follow a formula, this may not help the families of Florida. READ the bill, know what it says and how this can harm the families of Florida. Do not base your opinion on your limited experience of one case where there are two (2) great parents who both have good jobs and do not have a need for alimony. These families usually work out their differences and never see a judge. Base your opinion on the families in need of a judge who has the ability to make decisions based on that particular family’s needs and dynamics.
Read the Bills, educate yourself and if you disagree with the bill urge lawmakers to reject the bills.