Contentious alimony bill ready for House, Senate floor votes

Florida governor’s mansion and state capitol building. Credit MGN

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – An emotionally charged bill revising alimony and child custody is ready for floor votes in both houses of the Florida Legislature.

The bill (SB 668) got its final committee approval in the Senate Tuesday.

The legislation replaces lifetime alimony with formulas for payment amounts and duration depending on the length of the marriage and the spouses’ incomes. It urges judges to consider equal time sharing with children, but allows deviation from the formulas.

Backers say the bill would bring consistency to divorce cases, but opponents say it would harm women who give up careers to be stay-home mothers.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargel, says Rep. Colleen Burton has agreed to bring the Senate bill to the House floor instead of a similar House bill Burton sponsored.

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