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Florida lawmakers eye alimony do-over

Florida lawmakers are gearing up to spar over one of their most perennially contentious issues — permanent alimony. Currently, bills are introduced to both the house and senate to re-examine the standards for determining permanent alimony, with very strong supporters on both sides of the issue. If the bills are successful, the guidelines for when to assign permanent alimony and how much one must pay will be tightened.

Those who support the change claim that, under the current system, the burden is simply unfair and is costing them more than is reasonable. On the other side, those receiving alimony claim that the changes amount to a penalty for keeping a home or raising children with a former spouse.

Here's where things could get truly tricky — if passed, the bills would not only affect future divorces, but also apply retroactively to many alimony orders already in place. This could take alimony portion of many divorce settlements back to the drawing board, creating a season of great conflict for many former couples.

How the issue will ultimately play out remains to be seen, and it has historically inspired some surprising public outbursts from lawmakers and their constituents.

If you believe that your alimony order was unfair, you may soon have the opportunity to revisit and amend it. However, this process will not be simple or easy if it becomes available, and will require a great deal of careful legal counsel. Proper legal guidance from an experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights remain protected if you choose to contest your alimony settlement in the future.

Source: Floridapolitics.com, "2017 Legislative Session preview: Alimony rears its head," Jim Rosica, March 10, 2017

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