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Major changes in the works for alimony and child custody laws

For those going through a divorce, child custody and alimony are likely two of the most contentious issues. Both have far-reaching impacts on an individual's family and way of life. Now the methods judges use to make determinations about these issues in Florida may be changing.

The Florida Senate approved the revisions today, and the bill will soon be brought to the House floor according to the Tampa Tribune.

Proposed alimony reform

Currently, courts have broad discretion to decide how much alimony an ex-spouse should receive and for how long. The new proposal would use formulas to make these determinations, and put an end to lifetime alimony. The formulas would factor in the duration of the marriage and the income of both parties.

Proponents of the changes feel they would bring more predictability to the process. Critics worry the changes would result in a significant reduction in alimony payments. The recipients of these payments are often spouses who have given up a career to raise the couple's children. Over ninety-five percent of spousal support recipients are women.

Possible changes to child custody

The child custody provision would require judges to begin with the premise that a child should spend equal time with each parent. Proponents again think this will offer predictability, but opponents worry the best interests of the child may be compromised.

If passed into law the child custody changes would not be retroactive, and would only impact cases filed after October 1st.

Consult with an attorney

If you are going through a divorce, it is important to consult with an attorney. The assistance of an experienced lawyer is especially important when laws like these are evolving. Mr. Peppler can advise you of the options available, and work to make sure your interests are protected.

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