The Florida Senate has passed a bill eliminating permanent alimony and a similar bill is expected to pass in the House of Representatives and become law on July 1, 2013.
Consider the following situation: A couple marries at the age of 25 and in the first 5 years have 2 children. The wife stays home to raise the kids. At the time of the divorce after 20 years of marriage, the husband is a business executive earning $100,000 a year. The wife is still not working and has spent her time doing all of the home chores, planning social events to help boost the husband’s career, and has not worked since the Job she had as a restaurant server before the first child was born. The wife gave up her plans before the kids were born to get a college degree and become a registered nurse, but the only job qualification she now has is to go back to the job serving at a restaurant, earning $20,000 a year.
Under the current family law, the husband would likely pay between $20,000 and $30,000 in alimony to the wife for life. Upon his retirement, he would pay less based upon his and her income at retirement.
Under the new law, the husband would pay alimony for only 10 years. At the end of that time, the wife would earn the server’s wage until retirement when she would then receive a small amount of social security. The husband, on the other hand, would continue to grow his income and build up his pension as a business executive while paying no alimony for the 10 years remaining before retirement and, at retirement, would receive maximum social security and a much more lucrative retirement.
Depending upon whether you are the husband or wife in this scenario, you will think the new law is a disaster for your life or justice that has been too long in coming.