Changes In Florida Alimony Law

Are you going to lose your alimony?

Florida Alimony Law

The Florida legislature is currently discussing changes in Florida alimony law.

What do the changes mean for you?

Over the last few years, Florida has made changes to the alimony law. A group called Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) has been pushing for more changes. Both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate seem to be favoring bills that will significantly change alimony, and the bills under consideration will even impact previously ordered alimony.

One of the complaints about the current alimony system is that there is not a formula for setting alimony awards so that the amounts are unpredictable and even unfair. Currently, the Judges consider a number of factors to determine entitlement to alimony and the dollar amount.

This has resulted in inconsistent alimony awards. When asked how much alimony a lifelong homemaker married to a doctor deserved, Judges in an Ohio survey estimated as little as $5,000 a year and as much as $175,000.

What about if you already receive alimony by court order?

According to the Internal Revenue Service, former spouses pay around $9 billion in alimony each year.

One of the biggest areas of concern with the changes being considered is the attempt to eliminate “permanent alimony”, alimony that is paid until death or remarriage. FAR’s website states: “Florida’s permanent alimony laws are among the most draconian and out-of-date in the country. … Because of these laws and attitudes, it is common for healthy, employed women in their 30s and 40s to receive permanent alimony.”

Florida Bar Family Law Section Chair Carin Porras characterizes FAR as a group “basically made up of people who pay alimony and are not happy about that and want to get rid of the obligation.”

The existing alimony law requires a person to come back to court if they want to terminate permanent alimony. The new bills being considered by the House and Senate would make it the norm for alimony to automatically terminate when one of the former spouses has retired or has reached normal retirement age.

The House and Senate still need to agree upon one version of the law in order for it to pass. Both bills being considered apply the changes to already existing alimony orders, so if you receive or pay alimony, you need to keep a close eye on what happens with the Florida alimony law.

If you’re interested in learning more about emotions during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

If you have questions about alimony, contact me online or call me at 239-210-7516.

Divorce Grief

How To Get Divorced and Not Lose a Piece of Yourself

You have choices about how to handle this conflict in your life.

How to Get Divorced

Learn how to get divorced without losing a piece of yourself.

Recently at a cocktail party, I introduced myself to a male and female who were chatting with each other. I could tell they worked together because they were both wearing the company logo on their shirts.

During my introduction, I explained that I wrote a book titled, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?” Upon telling them that, they looked at each other and smiled. In unison, they both answered, “Yes!”

Unfortunately, this is a common thought during a divorce. When faced with divorce, we either need to be a shark or hire a shark to work for us. It’s time to change this thinking. Every time we participate in an unresolved conflict, we leave a piece of ourselves behind. How can you get divorced and not lose a piece of yourself?

There’s a fight scene from the movie, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. The Black Knight enters into a sword fight with King Arthur declaring he’s invincible. Immediately, King Arthur begins lopping off the Black Knight’s arms and legs. The Black Knight declares he can continue fighting because his injury is “just a flesh wound”.

Although divorces don’t typically result in the loss of body parts, there’s a symbolic parallel here. The stress, frustration, and anger from the divorce affect both mental health and physical health. The ongoing challenges and sniping prevent families from having healthy and workable relationships, which then leads to more conflict.

The Black Knight’s stubbornness led to a loss of his limbs. What is your emotional response to your divorce taking away from you? Remember, you have choices about how to handle this conflict in your life.

(If you’re interested, you can watch the Monty Python video clip here: Monty Python’s Black Knight)

To learn more about emotions during a divorce, you can read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Are you interested in learning more about how to get divorced and not lose a piece of yourself? Contact me online or call me at 239-210-7516. Let’s discuss your choices for handling this conflict in your life.

Divorce Grief

What Is Divorce Grief?

People who are divorcing experience grieving emotions
that are similar to the ones we feel when a loved one dies.

What is divorce grief?

So exactly what is divorce grief? What are the stages?

In 1969, based on her years of working with terminal cancer patients, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief”.

It’s important for people divorcing to understand the stages of grief and their place in it, so they can progress towards healing. It is also important to understand that people move through the stages differently and with different reactions. Some people move through the stages rapidly and are quickly able to feel peace and renewed hope. Others move much more slowly and struggle with the sense of loss and sadness for years. Some will always experience intermittent sadness.

Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief have evolved to include the following stages:

  • Shock and Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
  • Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
  • Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  • Understanding and Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what is going to happen/has happened.”
  • Management and Action Plan: “I am ready to make plans for the future.”

To learn more about emotions during a divorce, you can read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Are you asking yourself “what is divorce grief” and “am I experiencing it”? Need advice on making decisions regarding your divorce? Contact me or call 239-210-7516. Find out how to divorce as friends to create a peaceful ending and a new beginning.

Divorce Grief