Alan Frisher Advocates Florida Alimony Reform

By  //  February 13, 2013

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Alan Frisher

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Alan Frisher, quoted below in this Wall Street Journal MARKET WATCH article, has been in business in Brevard County as a Financial Advisor since 2000. He established Sage Divorce Planning, LLC in 2006 to offer the highest level of professionalism and personal service when dealing with the financial issues of divorce. Frisher earned a B.A. degree with honors in Economics from the City University of New York. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and graduated from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. He has extensive experience in the financial services industry, having received specialized training in the financial issues of divorce, and has fulfilled continuing education requirements.

Florida House and Senate Bills Filed to Challenge Outdated Permanent Alimony Laws

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) — Florida Alimony Reform (FAR) has officially launched its legislative campaign to change the state’s outdated permanent alimony laws with the filing of HB 231 and SB 718.

Ritch Workman

Filed by Rep Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne), HB 231 revises the many factors to be considered when awarding alimony, including how much and for how long. The bill, which is scheduled to be heard by the Civil Justice subcommittee, sets alimony payments based on a percentage of the net income for the payer.

Kelli Stargel

Companion bill SB 718, filed Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), eliminates permanent alimony and, among other things, requires the court to make written findings justifying any extension of alimony. The former spouse seeking alimony must prove need and the obligor, must have the ability to pay, under the proposed legislation.

Rep. Workman is bringing the bill back this session to finish the work he started last year when HB549 overwhelmingly passed by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

“These laws need to be revised because there is no standard for allocating alimony amounts or duration,” Alan Frisher, FAR’s co-director and spokesman said. “Today’s alimony laws are oppressive and harsh enough to create dire financial consequences for any money earner, forcing them into bankruptcy or, if they can’t pay, sending them to jail.”

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8 Comments on "Alan Frisher Advocates Florida Alimony Reform"

  1. John Waldorf February 14, 2013 at 7:07 am · Reply

    People have no idea how many people are affected by unfair Divorce Judgments. It effects all of your family and significant others. This is injustice at its worse. The laws must change. The Judges follow the law and the legislators must enact law that reflects 21st century norms. And first and foremost the Court System is fostering adversarial relationships between the mothers and fathers which deeply affect our children. The Court System is, in effect, abusing our children by issuing unfair Divorce Judgments.
    One other key issue is that any Appellate Courts should automatically assume that an appeal of a divorce judgment has merit. If you are charged in criminal court you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In a Family Civil matter it should be assumed that your appeal has merit. In my appeal to the appellate court I heard so many times, “but your case has no merit “because the lower court said so, these defeats the purpose of having an appellate court. There should also be new law which automatically stays the enforcement of a Divorce of Judgment if an appeal is filed. Many states have this law in the statutes, but not New Jersey. If the Florida Legislators want to be progressive they must take on the hard and complicated issues which affect our families and most of all our children.

  2. Geoffrey Coe February 14, 2013 at 10:11 am · Reply

    These laws are irretrievably broken, just like the marriages they are being applied to. We need predictable laws that protects both spouses by rehabilitating the one who needs it and letting the paying spouse know when the process terminates. In all but the rarest cases this could be mediated in the same vein as child support. To continue with permanent alimony robs children of support and prevents the payee from engaging in meaningful work or developing a meaningful relationship with another. Hardly a recipe for support of family.

  3. Lee Kallett February 14, 2013 at 10:57 am · Reply

    End Lifetime Alimony in Florida.

    I am a St. Pete Beach resident caught up in the injustice of the current alimony laws. I was betrayed by my wife after 20 years of marriage when she opted to come out of the closet, declared her lesbianism and became active in the gay community. Divorce followed and the no fault State of Florida sentenced me to a lifetime of alimony payments. There was no opportunity to present the reason for the divorce in court and the judge rewarded my ex-wife with $4000/month permanent spousal support. She was in her 40s, a summa cum laude university graduate and quite capable of providing for herself had she the incentive to do so. Awarding her lifetime alimony removed any such incentive.
    Though she had worked previously, she chose to abandon her career, opting instead to live off the $4,000 monthly alimony. She has been able to pursue a life of fun-filled hobbies, freelancing here and there, and taking worldwide vacations — all courtesy of the alimony! I, on the other hand, have to work to provide for myself and the ex-spouse, leaving minimal funds to pursue my own life and support my new wife, family and our widowed elderly mothers. I am by no means wealthy, have my own health issues, and find myself forced into a lifetime of indentured servitude. And if I excel at work and receive a raise, my ex-wife can take me to court to get an increased share of my salary. I cannot even think of retirement and will have to work until the day I die!
    When a couple divorces, separation of lives should follow. For all practical purposes, the State of Florida is penalizing me for a failed marriage caused by the deception and sexual identity of my former spouse. I am tethered for life to my gay ex-wife. Alimony Reform is needed to remedy this situation.

    – Alimony should provide for a transition to a new life and not permanently fund that new life

    – Alimony should be awarded based on circumstances (i.e., education, health, the recipient’s ability to care for him/herself)

    – Alimony should have a time limit determined via a formula and not just the whim of a judge

    – Unique circumstances such as a spouse changing sexual orientation should negate the provision of alimony.

    Florida’s current alimony laws date from a bygone era when women were less educated and not expected to support themselves. Times have changed and single and divorced women (as well as the elderly and physically and mentally challenged) are educated, trained, gainfully employed and financially independent. In today’s day and age, opportunities are boundless and the existing Florida alimony laws need be changed to reflect the times. They need align with the American way of life which allows all people to lead self-sufficient, successful, worthwhile, productive lives and not need bleed the former spouse. Divorce shouldn’t carry a lifetime penalty to one party for the benefit of the other.

  4. Lee Kallett February 14, 2013 at 11:40 am · Reply

    Watch me on this 2 min YouTube video with my alimony story: http://youtu.be/l523XAgv_vc
    For other stories go to http://www.alimonyreform.com

  5. Nannette February 15, 2013 at 9:16 am · Reply

    Lifetime Alimony = Lifetime Litigation. My husband started paying lifetime Alimony at age 41 for a childless marriage to college educated,working fulltime,able-bodied ex-spouse. If the law does not change he will likely pay twice the length of the marriage and retirement will never be an option. Folrida needs Alimmony Reform!!

  6. alisa whiting February 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm · Reply

    People divorce to terminate their relationship with one another. Lifetime alimony then forces a lifelong responsibility and continued relationship. Now that you’re divorced and paying alimony, the state requires that you put the ex spouse first (even before the children if there are any) and protect the ex from any financial distress to a far greater extent than when you were married! If you lose your job, the ex doesn’t have to adjust to a lower income. Yet if still married they would have to adjust. The same issue holds true if you become disabled or retire. It’s absurd. Alimony recipients have become a protected class in our courts! That being said, limit alimony to a 5 year term with the exception being marriages of 30 yrs and longer. You divorce to terminate the relationship and the marriage. Peopke have a right to move on from a mistake.

  7. Joe Braddock February 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm · Reply

    It is time to look at the outdated and unfair practices how many alimony cases are handled these days.

    In most cases, the alimony ways and means are no longer executed to protect the disadvantaged or incapable. Many professional, career men and women are stuck paying excessive amounts of alimony for many years to former spouses who personally chose not to pursue a career, skill, or any self sustaining activity during the marriage. Instead, those ex-spouses chose self serving and self centered activities for most of the marriage.

    In the aftermath of the divorce, the established, assumed breadwinner must go to work each day to maintain a high level of income to support the former spouse. Meanwhile, as in my case, the ex-spouse enjoys a six figure annual income, half of the assets obtained over the past 20 years of my career including part of my 401k, the house I paid off over the marriage and money for child support.

    When is a divorce what it is supposed to be? A separation and split of two adults that no longer wish to share a life together. I understand and acknowledge the continued responsibilities these 2 adults must share in relation to parenting. However, when it comes down to the 2 adults’ lives, why must one person continue to essentially live the other person’s life (i.e. enable) in relation to finances, lifestyle, and disposition? They are grown adults who do not suffer from any sort of handicap or disadvantage. They chose to be the way they are and chose not to do anything about it.

    Personal responsibility and accountability have to be a significant factor in relation to divorce and alimony. Currently, whomever is the most responsible and accountable in their daily lives appears to be the person that bears ALL of the financial responsibility and accountability. This has to change.

  8. Steven March 17, 2013 at 10:09 am · Reply

    The down and dirty: I was pushed out the door, had to do all the foot-work to get the divorce she wanted & she would not sign the divorce agreement unless I agreed to pay Spousal Support/Alimony until I die, or she remarries. Almost losing my job, I had to agree. I left her everything and my two daughters, left her bill free with a “large” amount of monthly child-support and alimony/spousal support in a nice home. Me, I still incurred $8,000 more in debt for her money spending habits. My kids are 20 and 23, both doing very well and the X is full time in the education system. Guess what, I’m not dead yet… At age 56, and 9-years divorced, my health deteriating, I should not still be paying spousal support. This bill needs to cover both Spousal Support and Alimony (what’s the diff), same thing. It needs to be passed, & passed ASAP…

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