Spousal support and child custody present two of the biggest issues in most divorces. Legislative committees in Tallahassee have been listening to testimony about reforms meant to make joint custody with children spending equal time between parents the legal standard. Additionally, time limitations on spousal support, also known as alimony, could become law and abolish the possibility of permanent alimony being awarded.

The proposed child custody reform bill elicited emotional testimony while a Senate committee considered it. The committee approved the bill that will now advance through the legislature. The alimony bill has already passed its second committee in the House and awaits a vote on the floor of the House.

Activists seeking to limit alimony to specific time periods insist that permanent spousal support inflicts injustices upon those ordered to pay it. They also said that the reform bill will update the laws so that they could be applied consistently. Opponents of the reform, specifically the National Organization for Women, argued that the proposed reforms would be unfair to women that have no career prospects because they stayed home to raise children prior to a divorce.

A person considering a divorce might need advice about how the legal landscape might influence a court’s decision concerning property division, spousal support and parental rights. A Venice, Florida, child custody law firm could be well suited to interpreting laws in this state. An attorney could help a person negotiate a child custody agreement before going to court. If a divorce has already gone through, an attorney might also represent a person who needs to modify a custody or support agreement.

Source: TBO, “Florida Considers Controversial Divorce, Custody Law Changes“, William March, Feb. 7, 2016