For the second time, Governor Scott Vetoed the Florida alimony reform bill SB 668. The alimony bill proposed not only changes to the terms of alimony, but also to family law in general as it relates to child custody, time-sharing and child support.
Scott did not address the alimony reform specifically, but mainly showed a stance on how changes to a presumed 50/50 time-sharing could create situations where the determination of custody and time-sharing might not be in the best interest of the child or children.
Governor Scott defended “That this bill had the potential to up-end that policy in favor of putting the wants of a parent before the child’s best interest by creating a premise of equal time-sharing. Our judges must consider each family’s unique situation and abilities and put the best interests of the child above all else.”
No matter what side you may have been on with reform, it stands to reason that parents, the courts and officials need to be diligent in recognizing the best interest of the children.
Divorce and child custody issues can become a highly emotional situation, but often times the children’s needs and best interests are lost in the legal process. Currently, Florida judges are able to deviate from suggested guidelines. Although there is no legal presumption of 50/50 timeshare, it has become more popular for both parents to enjoy equal time with their children.
It’s been proven, that if there is any presumption of equal time-sharing, it’s the parents who put aside their differences and work together in the best interest of the child or children who avoid the most conflict. In high conflict situations, the time-sharing issues can turn into a battle in the courts.
When this is the case, it takes a seasoned Tampa child custody lawyer to fight for the rights and best interests of the children. Ultimately, the decision is up to the Florida Judges who hear these cases. Remember, time-sharing affects child support which most parents depend on to care for their children. Judges must look at the case as a whole to determine what is best for the child.
As far as alimony reform is concerned, perhaps it will get another chance, but for now it seems clear that the addition of proposed child custody and time-sharing reform to the Senate Bill may have been the reason for the failure of Bill 668. So for now, alimony laws in Florida remains the same and thus, we’ll continue to represent our clients according to the current laws with regards to those who deserve alimony, and those who may need a great litigator to ensure that any alimony awards are fair and if applicable, modifiable.
Tampa Family Law Attorney Nilo J. Sanchez & Associates represents clients in all types of divorce and family law matters including divorce cases, high asset divorces, child custody and child support cases. If you need a Tampa Bay Family Law Attorney in Brandon, South Tampa, Lutz or Land O’ Lakes or surrounding areas, please contact our office today for a consultation.