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Alimony and time-sharing bill vetoed

Florida governor Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed Senate Bill 250, which would have brought sweeping changes to Florida's alimony and parental time-sharing laws. The bill would have limited judges' discretion in awarding alimony after a divorce and created a presumption for equal parental time-sharing for men and women in divorce cases.

This is the second time in recent years the governor has vetoed an alimony bill. In vetoing the current senate bill, however, the governor specifically mentioned that he was opposed to the change to parental time-sharing. This raises the possibility that changes to Florida alimony law may resurface next year.

The new law would have resulted in lower alimony payments in all but long-term marriages. It also would have made it easier to modify alimony payments. Senate bill 250 was opposed by both the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar and by the League of Women Voters.

Current Florida law provides several different kinds of alimony, including temporary, lump sum, and permanent alimony. Judges have a great deal of discretion in determining when alimony should be awarded, how much it should be and how long it should continue.

Current Florida law also provides for the modification or cessation of alimony payments. For example, alimony can be stopped if your ex cohabitates with another person.

The Law Firm of Chris E. Ragano P.A. in Tampa represents both men and women in disputes involving alimony.

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