Waking up over coffee after a long trip to Tallahassee to attend the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on SB 748 (alimony), I came to a startling realization.
The finances of Florida families are in the cross hairs. Florida’s citizens must make a choice and take action. Either families let the family law section of The Florida Bar dictate how every penny of divorced families’ money is spent, or citizens band together to break the financial and political power of The Florida Bar.
What is critical to understand is that The Florida Bar is motivated only by greed — not the best interests of the child or even those of the divorcing parents. In crafting and opposing legislation, the bar’s goal is simple: Write family law to maximize judicial discretion in order to maximize litigation. The bar wants to maximize litigation so that divorce lawyers can charge $400 to $900 an hour to pick the last remaining dollars off the bones of the formerly intact family.
I urge Florida citizens to wake up to this hypocrisy and contact their legislators to oppose legislative initiatives taken by the family law section of The Florida Bar.
No matter what the bar says, the lawyers are motivated only their own financial best interests — not those of Florida’s families.
Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D, Miami
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Senate took a step back from a measure that would have drastically rewritten the state’s divorce laws, watering down a bill that would have let a divorced man or woman retroactively change the terms of their alimony payments to a former spouse.
The legislation in both the House and Senate has generated controversy, with critics saying it was a way for men to get out of paying spousal support. One lawmaker, Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, called the original bill “abysmal” during its first House hearing.
Still, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday heard testimony from witnesses who said Florida’s current law is “anti-family and anti-marriage.”
“Good people get divorced,” added Deborah Israel, a math professor at Broward College, who said the law is blocking her marriage to her divorced fiance. “It’s not just heathens. It takes two people to get married and only one person to leave the marriage.”
The original bills in both chambers sought to completely eliminate adultery as a consideration for alimony payments…