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Should Florida change its divorce law to end 'permanent alimony'?
Rosemary Goudreau's picture
Rosemary Goudreau
Facilitator
A recent My Turn on alimony prompted dozens of letters from people who believe Florida’s divorce law should be changed to end “permanent alimony,” an effort that found some support in the 2012 Legislature. Some say ending "permanent alimony" would put primarily women at risk, and negatively affect Florida’s children. But many others believe this is an antiquated divorce law that hurts families. Should Florida change its divorce law?
David Manz's picture
David Manz
Past Chair, Family Law Section of the Florida Bar

Changing our alimony laws would increase the need and cost of litigation, put primarily women at risk, and negatively affect Florida’s children.

What is at stake: the concept known as “permanent alimony.”  Permanent alimony is meant to meet the needs of a spouse who is unable to support herself or himself after a long term marriage. An example is a spouse who stays home to raise children, forgoing a career and the ability to build up retirement assets.  If a divorce occurs after many years, this spouse may be left without the ability to support herself or himself.  Alimony “reform” advocates argue that this is an antiquated method.  What they do not explain, however, is that their efforts to change alimony laws are not only unnecessary; they would have broad, adverse impacts and unintended consequences.

Florida currently enjoys some of the most progressive alimony laws in the nation.  For example, all alimony awards in Florida are predicated on one party’s need and the other’s ability to pay.  Absent both need and ability to pay, alimony cannot be awarded. Moreover, unless agreed to by the parties, permanent alimony is always modifiable if either spouse demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances.

Nevertheless, Floridians for Alimony Reform sought to undermine this hard work, which would have had disastrous effects.  Changes to current alimony laws would strain our already overwhelmed court system and ultimately increase Floridians’ dependence on social programs by forcing predominantly women and children into state-run programs and services. This would result in an increased burden on taxpayers.  It would also increase attorneys’ fees and costs for all spouses, affecting anyone who seeks a divorce.

If change is not necessary from a judicial, social, or economic standpoint, why are some stakeholders working so hard to force these revisions to Florida’s alimony laws? The answer, though unfortunate, is simple: a special interest group—a narrow coalition of mostly male alimony payors —is attempting to legislate their way out of paying alimony.

Luckily, the Florida House and Senate rejected their efforts this Session, standing up for Florida’s families. The people of Florida should thank lawmakers for preserving permanent alimony. This is good for spouses, families, and taxpayers across Florida.

David L. Manz is the Chair of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. He practices with the law firm of Greenman & Manz in the firm’s Marathon and Key West offices.

 

Alan Frisher's picture
Alan Frisher
Co-Director, Florida Alimony Reform

I would vehemently disagree that preserving Florida’s current alimony laws would be good for Florida’s families and taxpayers. I would even go as far as to say that current alimony laws in Florida are harmful to many families and taxpayers, with the ultimate financial benefit going not to the alimony payer, but instead to the family law attorneys who represent their clients in court. Numerous articles have been published and horror stories have been written regarding the atrocities surrounding orders of permanent alimony. Lives have been lost and families have been adversely affected for generations by such abusive orders.

 

While many alimony payers are indeed male, due to traditional societal norms of men primarily being the providers of the family, I would also argue that permanent alimony affects the entire family, not just a "small one-sided group of Floridians," as stated by Mr. Manz. 

 

The Florida House of Representatives, by a convincing vote of 83-30, this year passed HB 549 for alimony reform. Unfortunately, for reasons only known to himself, the Senate sponsor for alimony reform did not adopt the House bill (the lead bill), and also did not present a Senate version of the bill that allowed for any significant change from current law; therefore alimony reform did not occur in the last legislative session.

 

In Massachusetts, where alimony laws have just been reformed and implemented, people now have the ability to plan for their retirement. Litigants are settling contentious cases that would have lasted for years and broken them financially. Furthermore, since the Massachusetts Alimony Reform act of 2011 was signed into law, many people have been getting married who otherwise would not have. 

 

What is typically pointed out by the Family Law Section is that poster child of a case where a spouse (typically the woman) has been married a long time, raised her children, gets divorced and is now unable to support herself in the current workplace. That type of scenario is understood, but in today’s economy, is certainly not the norm. Even if that situation does occur, typically assets are split, and other sources of income such as Social Security are available to the divorcing spouse. That said, Florida Alimony Reform is not looking to eliminate alimony awards, but instead, make rehabilitative and/or durational alimony the default as opposed to one that is permanent in nature and allow for a balance with what is necessary to allow for both spouses to move on with their lives separately, without having to be tied permanently to one another financially in a way that creates continued animosity and destruction for the entire family.

 

The revisions being asked for reflect changing social and demographic patterns, as well as the toll inflicted by a long-term economic slump. The only people that stand to win with an adversarial approach to divorce are certainly not the spouses or the children, but instead, the litigating attorneys who charge high retainers and hourly fees with the promise of being zealous advocates for their clients. Our current law is a litigious model that allows for arbitrary and unbridled discretion by judges, and encourages continued litigation without end.

 
William Basler

Mr. Manz says that I, as a male alimony payor, want to legislate my way out of paying alimony. What I want is that the alimony laws in Florida should allow me to retire without going into bankruptcy. My divorce happened 20 years ago yet I am under a life sentence to continue. Mr. Manz states that can be modified and he is correct. What he doesn't tell you is that a typical modification procedure takes about a year and costs on average $20,000 and it still might not get modified.

More and more states are changing these unfair and out-of-date alimony laws. Florida needs to change also, to truly be good for families and taxpayers, not necessarily Family Law Attorneys.

 

Dani Pearson

Mr. Manz, you are totally wrong in your statements.  The only one that is padding their pockets in these situations are the attorneys that are trying to help both sides, as the legal fees were over $20,000 to prove a supportive relationship which only reduced alimony payments from $2400 a month to $1580 a month in the case I am familiar with.  Everyone that hears this story, and knows the individuals involved is amazed that she is able to continue taking money from her ex that she left, to be with this other man.  This is a sad situation, and it must be corrected.

 

Gary Stein
Dentist

I am a dentist forced to retire prematurely due to a disability with my hands. I have been paying permanent alimony for 17 years.

My ex-wife received her Masters in Social Work when we were married, and always practiced her profession and worked as a dental office consultant until the present. Since Florida law considers medical payments from my disability company as regular income, my alimony payment has stayed the same.

 

I believe reform is necessary to change these archaic laws so that a spouse can have a life in retirement. My ex wife has a long term companion but will not marry because of the benefits she reaps from permanent alimony.

 

Jose Aleman-Gomez
Physician

As US trained Cardiologist for 18 years, I could never justify giving supplemental potassium to a patient that has adequate potassium levels. That is no problem with the Florida Alimony Law.

 

I am ordered to pay $50,000/year of permanent alimony to a healthy practicing dentist. Is an ex-spouse with a doctorate degree, an established six-figure annual income and her own practice in need of alimony? The State of Texas says NO.

 

The marital standard of living was enforced was to prevent an ex-spouse from becoming a burden to society or the government if unable to provide for their basic necessities of life. The Common Alimony Law enforces the “marital standard of living” only towards the lower-earning ex-spouse. The law doesn’t care if the paying ex-spouse is unemployed, terminally ill or  bedridden with dementia. He/she is still required to pay alimony,  enforced by jail time.

 

The Florida Alimony Law is designed in such a way that all “lower earning” ex-spouses will get awarded alimony no matter if they are considered self-sufficient. This senseless law creates an unlimited case load and promotes prolonged litigations. Why would the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar want to risk losing their golden egg laying goose by supporting alimony reform?

 

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FloridaVoices User Comments

The current laws are in desperate need of reform and need to have duration limits set and allow current people paying lifetime alimony to stop paying alimony at some point. Why? The current alimony laws in Florida are definitely ANTI-marriage and ANTI-family! The current laws allow a woman in her 30's to receive permanent alimony for life. The current laws encourage women receiving permanent alimony to cohabitate for years and not get married. The current laws put good, caring, and responsible fathers like myself in dire financial situations where they MUST support the ex-wife before they support their children.

I got married at the age of 19 and got divorced at the age of 34 in Florida and was ordered to pay permanent alimony for LIFE. I was ordered by a Judge that I must continue to support my ex-wife before supporting my children. My ex-wife, a perfectly healthy woman and perfectly capable of working, started receiving permanent lifetime alimony 10 years ago at the age of 33.

Unless the laws are changed, my ex-wife and many like her will continue to abuse the system and receive alimony for the rest of their lives. My ex-wife refuses to remarry (even though she has been in a relationship lasting over 6 years and was proposed to by her cohabitant boyfriend) because she does not want to stop receiving alimony for life and also because gets the benefit of being supported by her boyfriend and by her ex-husband. Unless a person is totally disabled, alimony should NOT be permanent and should only be given for a limited time to get someone back on their feet.

The only “real opponents” to alimony reform are family law attorneys like Mr. Manz. Those attorneys have absolutely NO interest in helping “families” and instead just want to keep their clients fighting in court for a “lifetime” so they can have a continuous stream of income.

No-Fault Divorce in Florida should not have a winner and a loser. The lifetime alimony recipient needs to make no effort at self-support, education, employment, or re-marriage. The lifetime alimony payer must continue to pay their ex-spouse or go to jail. The only "crime" the alimony payer committed was making money to support the family. Florida's "anti-family" laws reward laziness and penalize initiative.

If a woman wants to marry a man paying lifetime alimony, her income will now be factored into the "household income" and allow for an upward modification of alimony to the ex-spouse. This is anti-marriage. Why work to give your money away to your husband's ex-spouse?

If the alimony recipient marries, they lose their alimony. So, they just maintain a marriage-like situation with their significant other, but will NOT re-marry. They don't want to lose the alimony income. Florida's alimony laws are anti-marriage.

Family members, such as children, parents, or siblings, cannot be financially helped with college, medical expenses, or housing because the money has gone to the physically and mentally capable ex-spouse who simply does not want to work, because they don't have to work. It's more fun to "work out" at the gym than to work to take personal responsibility for yourself.

Please get involved with updating these laws, if not for your sake, for your children's sake. If you moved to Florida from another state that doesn't have lifetime alimony, it doesn't matter. You're in Florida now. No matter where you signed your "marriage contract" as a Florida Resident, you must follow Florida's laws.

This should scare many residents. There are attorneys offering classes to happily married women just so they will know what they are entitled to under Florida's laws. I think most marriages may have a bump or two along the way. One more bump after this seminar, and your life is through.

Update these laws. Get involved. Please go to www.FloridaAlimonyReform.com and get an education. Then get involved!!

Whether Mr. Manz himself, or the Florida Bar's PR firm wrote the words to which he signed his name, he must have been chuckling a little, knowing just how many people he thinks might actually be taken in by cloaking the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Florida Alimony Reform was formed out of a movement of folks from all walks of life who had finally grown tired of the unbridled legal abuse which is destroying us, our families and our lives....all at the enrichment of lawyers and the family law support system money machine (accountants, therapists, vocational evaluators, etc...) under the sheep disguise of "compassion".

Divorce is a tragic and unfortunate reality of modern society. And to the extent it can be mitigated or prevented, it should be. Hwever...don't go looking for the Florida Bar Divorce Prevention Program....you won't find it. The Divorce industry churns out millions of dollars in revenues from incessant lititgation. And Permanent Alimony is the best generator of all....why proceedings can be reinitiated at ANY time - the case is NEVER $ettled!

For Mr. Manz, to characterize the typical alimony recipient as "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" - the poor helpless female who stayed home and can't work for a living, is anitquated, outdated, and quite frankly insulting to the modern capable, responsible, liberated working woman. We live in times where most families require two incomes just to meet the bills and pay the exorbitant prices of living that come with living under a blosted government. And the most disgusting of all permanenet alimony cases are where the ex-spouse either does work and make a good income, or is capable of doing so, and yet is awarded permanent alimony.

And how can it be good for Florida for alimony payors to support two households, live in often abject poverty, be driven into bankruptcy themselves, and have any disposible income that might be left after all of this, be devoured by the lawyers and the family law system every time a new motion is litigated?

It is not uncommon at all for permanent alimony cases to be re-litigated every few years, each case taking a few years to be resolved, and then relitigated a few years later....all generating tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars of endless legal and ancillary fees which bankrupt one if not both parties. Not to mention the acrimony and ill will that are engengered by these hostile actions which only fuel the fire and generate more fees for the attorneys and the system.

No boys and girls....Mr. Manz is NOT, and I repeat NOT...looking out for the welfare of the poor Florida Family.

Families do not benefit from the primary breadwinner being bankrupted and destroyed by the agony and disincentive of endless and back-breaking litigation. Fanmilies do not benefit by disincentivizing ex-spuoses receiving alimony from getting remarried or seeking employment or improvement in their lives so they can move on. Families do not benefit from kids who's parents have nothing left to support them with because they are broke from litigation. Fanmilies do not benefit when Breadwinners cannot retire because they can't affor to go to court to plead their case, or pay the bills of the failed motions when they lose. Families do not benefit when the alimony payor's second wife becomes liable financially for the husband's alimony obligations.

Other states (such as Massachusetts and Texas) have actually passed an implenented REAL progressvity in their alimony laws, which provide realistic goals, limits to litigation and family damage, and ioncentive for the divorced parties to move on with their lives.

Make no mistake. Aliomony Reform is coming.

For Mr. Manz and the Florida Bar Family Law section to support eh current laws is the equivalent of a dentist feeding Jolly Ranchers to a 7-year old and hiding the toothbrush. Wake up Florida and follow the money....you'll find in the the pockets of Mr. Manz and Florida Family Law

YES they should change. Women and children at risk? Children have nothing to do with this archaic law. Why should someone be supported the rest of their life? Child support ends at 18 but we have to support an adult forever? NO employer promises that. These laws make no sense and the money hungy lawyers love it that way. How would you like someone who you have never met be entitled to 30% of your salary. YES that is FLORIDA law! Fair right.... Florida allows the ex to live with someone and stll collect a paycheck. And the one paying if they remarry the new spouse has to give 30% of her paycheck.. THIS is anti family...

Where to start with this ridiculous, one size fits all law.
How can the children be affected? Child support is different than Lifetime alimony. Not even related.
After a divorce half the assets go to either party so both parties start on par. Sure, one person may have a head start because of a career, maybe, but lifetime alimony. This "law" only encourages the party receiving it to avoid work. In todays society there is no longer any significant encouragement to get married again. If I am getting a lifetime pension, why get married? And those imposible to prove changes passed a few years ago do not help when one is trying to hide their living arrangements.
In my case there were no children, so my blood boils when I hear these jackasses bring that into the argument. Once again, why is a one size alimony supposed to fit all instances.
The law must be changed and put a cap on the time. One half to even 2/3 the time of the marrige is more than enough time to get the other party on their way in the worst case scenarios. How does lifetime alimony end? Back to court you have to go if you loose your job or retire or anything else happens. This is just to get the lawyers more money by keeping people in the mill. Lets free up the court system and get people out of it. Divorce isn't a crime but the laws of Florida make it worse than a crime.
David Manz is on the take and corrupt if he can keep a straight face with his illogical comments. Wake up! Who is he fooling with his comments/arguments.

Florida is one of the few states that still has permanent alimony. And there is even fewer states that has NO GUIDELINES as to amount and duration of alimony. The lawyers are allowed to litigate until assets are gone. Even a liberal state like Massachusetts agrees that permanent alimony is wrong and just eliminated it. The voices for it in florida are a few trial lawyers with hundreds of thousands of Floridans against it.
My ex has received for 20 years with a 19 year marriage. She can easily get a job but she wouldnt dare because it could affect her $4000 a month she gets for life .I had full custody of three young children and raised them without her help. She has been cohabitation with a man for 15 years and owns a house together with him. They brag that she won the LOTTO in her divorce. They married in a church but didnt file with the state and proudly wear their wedding rings with pictures posted on facebook.
I lost my job 4 months ago and i have to use what funds are left and pay for my lawyer and hers to go back to court and HOPE that i can get my alimony changed. This is ruining my familys life. The court system should protect ALL family's. Unless the ex is disabled there is no valid reason for permanent alimony. the EX should get rehabilitative alimony to get a skill if there is a need. Why is the FLORIDA court system allowed to destroy one family to give an ex a FREE RIDE FOR LIFE?

It seems the Chairman Manz of the Family Section of the Florida Bar has done his best to continue to line the pockets of his and his equally self-serving legal sisters and brothers who practice law in the state of Florida. (Full disclosure: My Father is an attorney)

While I agree that there are certain long-term cases where the wife was home raising kids while the husband was earning the living, there are many others, like mine, where we were married for 12.5 years, both working and raising children too. In fact I was privileged enough to have the judge award me custody of our two minor (at the time) children. In addition to the award, she also penalized me with permanent alimony.

His statement that “Florida enjoys some of the most progressive alimony laws in the nation,” could not be further from the truth. Perhaps, if he meant progressive in the ways that the laws, as currently written, could screw you then I would agree wholeheartedly. But then, red-light cameras as a form of revenue for cities could be construed as progressive as well. For example: The income that my new wife brings in could be factored in to the total amount of my household income that the ex-wife could draw alimony from. That certainly is progressive, and innovative, too. But more importantly, it is just offensive, and morally wrong.

He continues, “Nevertheless, Floridians for Alimony Reform sought to undermine this hard work, which would have had disastrous effects. Changes to alimony laws would strain our already-overwhelmed court system…it would also increase attorneys' fees and costs for all spouses, affecting anyone who seeks a divorce.”

Based on this last sentence alone, which incidentally is untrue, I am surprised that the Florida Bar family section was not leading the parade as we went to Tallahassee to meet with legislators. At the end of the day, all the Florida Bar really has in mind is Billable Hours.

He makes a final critical mistake in his claim that Florida Alimony Reform members are a small, one-sided group of Floridians. On the contrary, we are your fathers and mothers. We are your neighbors. Your brothers and sisters. Your stepmothers and stepfathers. The doctor down the street. The Alzheimer patient who is unable to work but still permanently required to pay. We are salesmen and women. Firefighters and Police Officers. Airline pilots and flight attendants. We are business owners, and employees. We are journalists, both male and female. In fact, looking around in newsrooms everywhere, I am certain there are many who would fit right in. There are even lawyers who are members. And many others who support loved ones who are saddled with an unjust burden.

So, at the end of the day, when the final accounting is complete, it’s clear that the Florida Bar Family Division has many different horses in this race. They fail to realize that as they earn income (billable hours) by putting people into these situations, they would also be able to earn more income (billable hours) helping clients to modify their alimonies. By getting on board and helping to change the status quo, of Florida’s alimony laws, they could help to give lawyers a good name again. Perhaps at that point, they might be able to sleep well at night, knowing they have helped to change the antiquated and unjust alimony laws of the State of Florida.

Mr. Manz is right about how alimony negatively affects Florida's children but in my case it is affecting my daughter right now! I pay alimony to my former wife who is a healthy and capable adult who has had many opportunities during and after our marraige to gain a college degree, enter the work force and increase her annual income which would relieve me of my permanent alimony. Instead I pay my permanent monthly alimony and then have to tell our 19 year old daughter, who has lived with me full time for the past three years, that because the alimony eats up any additional funds I would have after paying bills that I can not help her with her college tuition, books and/or fees, car repairs, clothes and such, so yes the current alimony structure negatively affects my ability to provide additional support to any one of our four children! Additionally, Mr. Manz is not even remotely honest or truthful if he feels that "Florida currently enjoys some of the most progressive alimony laws in the nation". Mr. Manz, what nation are you speaking of because Florida is one of the worst as it relates to alimony! Understand, I have no problems paying alimony I have an issue with alimony being a permanent means of support. What incentive does any "receiving" spouse have to better themselves financially?? Why would any "receiving" spouse get legaly remarried, might as well just live together and keep on receiving those monthly alimony checks! As a father of four wonderful children, three of which are in college, why is it that a "paying" spouse's responsibilities regarding child support end when the child graduates high school or turns 18 but alimony is permanent?? It makes no sense!! Make alimony like child support - a specific formula with a specific end date! Stop making Florida alimony like a government "hand-out" with no onus on the recipient to be responsible for their self!

The law absolutely needs to be reformed. No able-bodied individual should be entitled to a lifetime income from another individual. Allowing that to happen makes a mockery of the concept of a "no fault" divorce, as the one who pays certainly is being punished for the remainder of their lifetime.

I became minutely concerned with this topic, having recently entered the divorce process. We have been married almost 22 years and have 2 children. She has worked outside the home for 15 of those years, including part-time for the last 5. We both have equivalent education. Given that I earn much more than she does, I absolutely recognize the need for some short-term assistance to get her transitioned back into the full-time workforce. But short-term should be the only available option, given her education and work experience. However, she has the availability of permanent alimony available as a weapon in our proceedings, to attempt to strong arm me into giving her a greater share of marital assets in exchange for not pressing for permanent alimony. She refuses to look for full-time work now, because it will impede her ability to prepare for the job she really wants as a teacher. If I were to lose my job, I wouldn't have the option of cherry picking a job, but would have to use savings, with a combination of whatever work was available, to provide for my family. Those getting divorced and making less than their ex-spouse she not be a special, protected class of people entitled to benefits that are provided to no one else in our society.

With my research through the Florida Alimony Reform group and reading through the stories of those negatively affected by Florida's antiquated laws, I fear what the ultimate outcome of my situation will be. This issue creates great animosity between my soon-to-be ex and I, when our primary focus should be the well-being of our children, and moving on with our lives. Meaningful reform that provides predictable outcomes, and limits ongoing litigation and long-term dependence, will allow Florida families to maintain the right priorities. It will also keep more money available for caring for Florida's children of divorce, instead of enriching family law attorneys.

As an interested reader on many opinions, and even those not directly concerning me such as this one, I find it sadly amusing to read Mr. Manz's article and his defense for continuing to retain the antiquated divorce laws pertaining to alimony here in Florida. Times have changed and so too should the laws! I, like others, agree that the objective should not be to withhold warranted alimony for your divorced partner but not necessarily to the point that a lot of the situations have resulted in. Negatively affecting one's potential for future marriage is a travesty due to the fact they can now consider the income of the new partner in re-establishing alimony to a higher level - simply disgusting and anti-marriage! And the fact many spouses are able to easily support themselves on their salary alone should factor into the decision of awarding one a life time of permanent alimony. I do not have a dog in this fight but I do greatly sympathize with those Floridians out there that have and continue to be punished by the inane divorce laws on the books today. I know the Florida Bar will never admit the truth but lawyers involved in divorce proceedings will not benefit by any progressive changes to the current laws. For that reason alone, FAR is fighting an uphill battle that will indubitably take years to win but please don't stop now and keep fighting for what is right! Good luck!

I am a woman that was divorced in my thirties after a 17 year marriage with two children. I did not ask or recieve alimony even though my attorney quickly advised me that I was entitled. He told me it would be expensive but my ex would end up paying for his fees. Of course he wanted a large retainer to get started. I took the high road and declined. I had little more than a one year vocational degree. I not only survived but I thrived. I never collected a penny from the government or was a burden to the tax payers. I went on to become a successful business woman and I am proud that I did so. Now I have met a man that is strapped with permanent alimony for the rest of his life to a woman that never even attempted to educate herself or otain any kind of employment skills even though they had no children for the first 12 years of marriage. Their one and only child is grown now but he has nothing left after alimony to help her with college expenses. He has faced 5 job loses and pay decreases in the last five years due to his industry. Sadly his attorney advised him to sign a non modifiable agreement. He has no recourse to go for a reduction due to his loss of employment. He has exausted all assets and now faces contemt and jail while she works and has a significant other. She has no mercy and will go after him if he misses one payment. Unemployment won't even pay his monthy obligation to her. How wrong is that?
So yes, there needs to be some changes, big ones!

Read it for yourself, folks!

He wrote "Luckily, the Florida House and Senate rejected their efforts this Session, standing up for Florida’s families. The people of Florida should thank lawmakers for preserving permanent alimony. This is good for spouses, families, and taxpayers across Florida."

The Alimony Reform Bill PASSED BY A 2-1 MARGIN IN THE HOUSE. It was only in the Senate where the Florida Bar Lobbyists got the bill killed (IT NEVER MADE IT TO A VOTE) that it died.

To say that the bill was somehow "rejected" by your elected officials is just a complete misrepresentation of the facts by Mr. Manz. The Florida Representatives, led by Melbourne's Rep Workman, overwhelming pushed the bill through the Florida House.

Our Florida Senators never were given a chance to vote on the measure thanks to the attorney lobby.

Rest assured that there is a lot of money in at stake here. Money that the attorneys want all for for themselves by preserving the status quo.

In 2000 I met a man and fell in love. He was divorced as was I. I had two small children and received very little child support, but that did not matter to me. I was raised in an era of equality and knew with determination and hard work, we would be just fine. I went to school, became a registered nurse and made a nice life for myself and my children. When I met this man, he explained to me he was paying lifetime alimony, a concept I did not understand but it did not matter to me, I wasn't in it for the money. Our relationship grew and we were married. My husband has now reached retirement age, but retirement is not an option. I have watched my husband suffer through heart disease and cancer but not able to take time from work to heal, permanent alimony doesn't give "sick days". I now understand that if something happens to my husband and he is unable to make these payments, my income will be used to continue these payments. This means that all of the hard work I've done to make a life for myself and my children will go to a woman whom I have never met, who has no children with my husband, who owns several properties and takes lavish vacations. I can only hope that my daughter has seen that her life is not decided by her marital status, and should she decide to end a marriage that she can reinvent herself and move forward. I can't imagine the lack of self-esteem of a woman being told she has nothing to offer outside of a marriage. The Florida laws are demeaning to women and unfair to men. I hope I do not have to watch the man I love work himself to death just because a marriage did not work

Todd Breen's picture

We can't buy a pack of cigarettes without a warning label that it may cause cancer.

We can't buy a just house without signing dozens of disclosure notices.

But I can agree to marry someone, then be bound to pay her $3000/month for life?

If I had been asked to sign a 'LIFETIME PERMANENT ALIMONY DISCLOSURE NOTICE' that went along with my marriage certificate, I would've never signed. Would you?

Where is the disclosure? When did I agree to this? Had I known, I would never have married! LIFETIME permanent alimony? for marrying a woman who became a drug addict, neglected my children until I got custody. She continues abusing drugs to this day, because she can afford to do so with the WELFARE check she receives. Meanwhile, my children's college fund is gone so their mother can abuse drugs. This is a travesty.

What's more, as David Manz was so nice to point out, if my income conditions change, I can spend $20,000 in legal fees so my lawyer can put in a pool while I 'hope' to get my 'lifetime permanent' alimony sentence reduced from $3000/month to $2000?

I repeat:

If I had been asked to sign a 'LIFETIME PERMANENT ALIMONY DISCLOSURE NOTICE' that went along with my marriage certificate, I would've never signed. Would you?

Alimony in and of itself is a disgrace. I am not referring to child support, but thank God people with this alimony mentality weren't around Abe Lincoln when he worked to free slaves. Those are the sort of people who would have told Lincoln he can't free the slaves because they don't have any skills. Good Lord! Grow up and take responsibility for yourself people. Marriage, education, children - they are INDIVIDUAL choices you make and you should live with on your on. This sense of entitlement America seems to thrive on is destroying us. Evidently that is why the M&M attorneys (you know who they are) who encourage us to file frivolous lawsuits anywhere we can are thriving. Let's start reclaiming the real America by ending permanent alimony and progress over the next four years to end all alimony - providing enough time for alimony recipients to take accountability, get an education if they don't have one and move on.

I guess even bad ideas and laws need their champion. The Florida Bar is an organization that represents the interests of attorneys. The information they are providing is simply wrong and misleading but it is certainly their right to mislead you and get it wrong. They don’t represent you.

Is there not a way for us to formulate laws that are more representative of our collective values? Do we really believe one person should pay another for life? We raise kids for 18 years. Life expectancy is in the 80s. That is only 22% of the average person’s existence. Husband and wife have 78% of their lives to make it what they want. We all have free will.

Do you want to raise kids, help them get through college and prepare them for a good life, only to find out they will lose everything to attorneys and have to pay an ex-spouse for life? Is that really ok?

Do we really believe that someone had no choice but to stay home with kids? Do you know any working single moms? The kids are ok, aren’t they?

Do we really believe that, even when a mom does stay home, she can’t work when the kids are grown?

Split the assets. Split the retirement. The law already says we have to do that. Pay child support. The kids are taken care of.

50% of marriages end in divorce. How many divorces have you seen where the outcome was one you agreed with? The attorneys making the case to keep the status quo are the ones who had a hand in those outcomes. They make more with the laws we have. More fighting means more billable hours. When you run out of money, they will lose interest. We need to stop this group from continuing hurt families and our kids.

We need laws that are unambiguous and based on the values of our society. Cases that need to be litigated should be the minority, say less than 1%? We are smart enough to have rules to take care of all the people they are using as examples, aren't we?

Permanent alimony is the most unfair and unbalanced law in existence. It is a lottery win for the payee and a living nightmare of involuntary servitude for the payor. Even ones children grow up and become adults and are no longer the Legal responsibility of their parents. What logic would lead you to believe that and ADULT ex-spouse of many years ago is entited to full LIFETIME support?

As long as lawyers pratically steal money from clients this will be hard to stop! maybe we should all stop paying???????

Really ? in the Keys I wonder why???

Nothing more to say

This Mr Manz......is a Caricature of himself.......

Alimony should be a rehabilitative measure, not a permanent “gravy train punishment” aimed at the ex-spouse. When it comes to Alimony, some woman CHOOSE to become the “conveniently” weaker sex and our antiquated court system still panders to this belief. Woman have come such a long way and this type of sham perpetuates the “weaker sex” myth. I dare anyone to tell a woman that she is weak and has less rights in ANY OTHER situation. There are no Academy Awards for these court dramas, but it seems to convince the judge to award large sums of permanent alimony. Minor Children need support not capable Adult Women. These women are a disgrace to all of womankind - especially to those of us who chose to educate ourselves and obtain careers to support our families. Use your alimony to obtain an education in a career that you can be proud of --or are you more hung up on punishing your ex-spouse? What empowers you more? What a shame!

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/letters/letters-permanent-alimony-a...

Writing as a divorce researcher and alimony payer, I want to say that Florida finally appears to be coming out of the Dark Ages of family law and beginning to approach fairness for both the fathers and children of divorce.

Permanent alimony is the legal remnant of an ancient society with a high marriage rate, a low divorce rate, long-term marriages, a low non-marital childbearing rate and a family structure consisting of husband/breadwinner and wife/homemaker. Permanent alimony likewise is a remnant of times when men had higher education, higher employment and higher income compared with women.

Today, we have a low marriage rate, a high divorce rate, a high cohabitation rate, a 41 percent non-marital childbearing rate and a host of family structures.

Given that today's gender gaps favor women in education, employment and income, permanent alimony is an anachronism that meets no criterion of fairness.

Let us hope that Florida's elected officials will recognize our changed social conditions and eliminate permanent alimony.

GORDON E. FINLEY, Ph.D.
Miami
Editor's note: Gordon E. Finley is professor of psychology emeritus at Florida International University.

A Rebuttal to Mr. David Manz

I will stipulate that FAR is a special interest group, whose aim is to ensure fair and equitable provisions for individuals and families facing divorce, just as the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar is a special interest group whose aim is to maintain the status quo of Florida’s current antiquated alimony laws. Remember that factor when deciding whose side of the story to support; you only have to follow the money.

By advocating change in Florida’s alimony laws, FAR only wishes to establish reasonable guidelines so that all parties may move on with the new lives that divorce brings. Since when is supporting a former spouse for life divorce? As far as being a threat to the Florida Legislature, I believe that Mr. Manz is reaching for the drama of final arguments in a court case.

The example of a spouse who stays home to raise children, forgoing the pursuit of their own career and having the ability to build up their own retirement assets just does not exist to the extent it did forty or fifty years ago. That example is now the exception, not the rule. In the rare instance of this scenario, the operative phrase in Mr. Manz’s comments is “this spouse ‘may’ be left without the ability to support herself or himself”, not “this spouse ‘shall’ be left without the ability to support herself or himself” and the only “broad, adverse impacts and unintended consequences” would be a potential loss of income in the form of outrageous retainers and contingency fees to the divorce lawyers of Florida. Again, follow the money.

Mr. Manz states, “moreover, unless agreed to by the parties, permanent alimony is always modifiable if either spouse demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances.” What he fails to mention is that most family law attorneys will not assist in divorce modification cases without a significant retainer, usually in the neighborhood of $10,000 or higher depending on the “complexity” of your situation, or that modifications are rarely granted by the courts. Are you following the money?

Mr. Manz claims “changes to current alimony laws would strain our already overwhelmed court system and ultimately increase Floridians’ dependence on social programs by forcing predominantly women and children into state-run programs and services” when the opposite is more likely to happen as can be seen in Massachusetts, where alimony reform similar to the goals of FAR has just been put into law. Follow that money!

Why are some stakeholders working so hard to force these revisions to Florida’s alimony laws? The answer is simple: Before divorce is considered, all parties should realize that at some point in time in near future, they must be responsible for their own well-being and that their new lives are most likely not going to be able to be sustained at the former level of the marriage. It’s called personal responsibility and accountability.

The Florida House supported these changes and overwhelmingly passed HB 549, but unfortunately, the Florida Senate rejected the efforts of FAR, standing up for Florida’s family law attorneys instead. The people of Florida should lambast their state senators and demand that Florida’s alimony laws be brought into the 21st Century.

I recently relocated to Central America to get away from slavery of Florida's permanent alimony laws. I roughed it out in the States to be sure my kids finished college and got on their feet as best as possible. My “X” is a college graduate with her own business. Alimony is totally separate from child support so do not confuse the 2 issues. After a long expensive divorce, it was decided that $80k per year in permanent alimony would be adequate to allow the X to live in a manner where she could still go on as many vacations per year as desired, work out every day at the spa and enjoy dining out with friends & lovers whenever the opportunity arose.
After taking a huge pay cut from the fall-out of the investment world (namely bonuses), I could not afford the alimony set by the courts. After 5 years of legal fees to try and get the courts to modify my alimony, I decided that the misery of waking up every day to hand over my paycheck to someone I no longer had in my life, was ridiculous.
The move to Central America has opened another life. I still have the support and love of my children but do not see them very often.
The current alimony laws in Florida stem from the 1800s when women were possessions under Old English Chancery law. However, today’s lawyers of the Family Law court system protect the archaic laws on the books as it a huge source of wealth for those bar members. In my experience, lawyers fueled the volatile emotional situation that divorce naturally brings. My initial settlement came conveniently after liquid funds were pretty much depleted on legal fees; coincidence?
I am told my X’s psychiatric sessions are coming along slowly as the reality of having to make one’s own way can be debilitating. Of course tapping into the asset divide where the X received over $500,000, is also very distressing to the X. How can one expect to live in poverty of this nature?
I do not expect Florida alimony laws to change in my lifetime. The human desire to free oneself of slavery is very strong; but many of my fellow alimony payers still suffer from this evil. Time to take Plan B for those following the Florida alimony reform movement. Godspeed to all my enslaved brethren.

Thank you for covering this very important issue. Permanent Alimony does not permit families to heal and move forward with their lives. Alimony should be a rehabilitative tool not a long-term entitlement.

It is very disturbing when an individual such as Mr. Manz uses a position of power as Chair of the Family Law Section to write an opinion article and slant it in their favor by stating ideas that are simply incorrect. Let me dissect this article point by point.

1. In paragraph one, Mr. Manz alleges that the change in alimony laws would benefit a small group of one-sided Floridians. The members of FAR are NOT a narrow coalition of male alimony payers, but rather the group includes women and the children whose interests they represent. I am the leader of the newly formed Second Wives (and partners) Club. We are a group of folks who cannot marry our significant others because of the current alimony which can potentially tap into our hard earned income and assets to pay the former spouse's alimony. Leaving myself exposed to that violates my rights as a citizen. Should I marry my fiance, that could invite a trip back to divorce court with significant expense and an uncertain outcome. No thank you.

2. In paragraph two, Mr. Manz asserts that changing the alimony laws would in fact decrease the cost of litigation, in opposition to what Mr. Manz states in this article. Child support is based on guidelines and there is very little litigation based on child support alone. If alimony were to follow similar guidelines which is what was proposed by FAR, there would be a reduction in litigation, not an increase. I have never talked to a man who complained about paying child support. Most men I have talked to are willing to pay alimony for limited periods, especially when women have received 50% of the marital assets.

3. In paragraph three, Mr. Manz states that permanent alimony is only granted after a long term marriage. Many of our FAR members have been ordered to pay permanent alimony after short and moderate term marriages due to the latitude in a judge's discretion. One member was ordered to pay permanent alimony after a nine year marriage to his former wife because she was a convicted felon for crimes committed during the marriage (that's why he divorced her).

It should not be the case that permanent alimony is automatically ordered even after a long term marriage. One of our FAR members, a dentist, has a former wife, also a dentist, who earns a similar income, yet he is order to pay her permanent alimony. Additionally, there are cases when a person is divorced at age 40 which is young in today's society, even for a career change, when they are granted permanent alimony after a long term marriage.

4. In paragraph four, Mr. Manz states that Florida's laws are not antiquated. In 1980, 32 years ago, New York State changed its alimony laws and decided that the purpose of alimony is to give the dependent spouse a bridge to make the transition to independence. Massachussets signed a similar law into effect this past September. He also states that that fewer cases are litigated and more are settled. Case in point: my fiance was told by two attorneys that either he agree to pay permanent alimony or he goes to trial and $100,000 later he gets ordered to pay permanent alimony. He settled feeling he had no choice. He pays permanent alimony to a college educated person with significant work experience in Fortune 500 companies who consciously chooses not to improve her life.

Mr. Manz also states that alimony is easily modifiable. If that were true, why can't Linda Morgan, the wife of Alzheimer's patient Michael Morgan modify Dr. Morgan's alimony obligation to his former wife? Dr. Morgan is bed ridden, requires full time, around the clock care. We have many members who have gone to court, paid untold thousands of dollars to attorneys, only to fail in a modification attempt. They have faced bankruptcy, foreclosure, and have been left in debt, yet the courts have failed them.

5. In paragraph five, Mr. Manz assumes that women who are not awarded permanent alimony will be dependent on the state for financial assistance and therefore dependent on taxpayers. THIS IS A TRIED, TRUE AND EFFECTIVE SCARE TACTIC. As a woman, I resent this statement, and every female member of the Florida Bar should also be offended. The majority of today's workforce is made up of WOMEN. Due to our litigious society, when HR has to make a decision to downsize, the first person to be let go is a WHITE MALE.

6. To reiterate in what was said in item #1, FAR is comprised of many women. We are either alimony payers ourselves, second partners, or are concerned for the future generation because alimony payers generally are not in a financial position to help out children due to their lifetime alimony obligation. Those who receive permanent alimony appear to be the only group of able bodied people int he country who have no obligation to ever become self supporting. Welfare recipients are given several years of assistance and set free. Alimony was originally intended for women whose husbands left them when women had few career opportunities. Today, in a bizarre twist, the new wives of lifetime alimony payers are expected to use their economic power to support women who are given a pass at self sufficiency.

7. In paragraph seven, Mr. Manz states a blatant lie. The House and Senate did NOT reject FAR's efforts this Session. Quite the contrary. The House passed HB549 by an overwhelming majority of 83-30. The Senate did not even have an opportunity to vote on the bill because the Senate sponsor, Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, refused to bring the bill for a vote in the Senate. It turns out, his law partner Nelson Diaz at Becker Poliakoff, is the Florida Bar's Tallahassee lobbyist. I don’t know why this Senator even agreed to sponsor the bill. His actions are not to be judged not by me but by his Creator. He heard the horror stories, yet he made a decision not to bring his own bill for a vote for reasons only known to him.

Let me conclude by stating that open-ended alimony awards and laws with no guidelines encourage alimony recipients and their lawyers to game the system. Biases in many family courts consider women the victims of divorce, even when they are not. If divorce is no-fault as it is in Florida, then alimony need not be punitive.

At FAR, we are not against alimony. We are against permanent alimony. We are against the idea that permanent alimony payers have to bet their life savings to go in front of a judge and ask if they can retire and often lose. For many years, New York state law and other states have recognized that divorced women are capable of self-sufficiency. I believe it is time for Florida to do the same. In fact, the list of states in their own process of alimony reform is growing by the day.

If the family law section of the Florida Bar truly cares about families as they state, they will prove to us this current legislative system that the laws can be modified to correct some of the problems we are now facing with the current laws. All citizens need to be protected, not just alimony recipients. PROVE TO US WITH YOUR ACTIONS THAT YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT FAMILIES. WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO FIND A SOLUTION FOR ALL PARTIES.

Wow!! With all due respect Mr Manz; you have been drinking your own cool aid far too long!! Tell me sir; in my case I was forced to pay permanent alimony to a college educated woman in excellent physical and mental health. Who holds two professional licenses and was successfully running a small business. Prior to trial she closed her business then had her millinaire boyfriend get her a job as(in Judge John Phillips words) volunteer underemployed office helper earning $8.50 an hour. How does she "lack the ability" to support herself?? The current laws are punitive and harken back to a day when women had no opportunities outside the home. A recent article, The End Of Men, docummneted that for the first time in US history, the balance of the workforce tipped toward woman, who now hold a majority of the nation's jobs. The working class is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men increasingly absent from the home and making all the decisions. Of the 15 job catagories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the US, all but two are occupied primarily by woman. The "special interest group" you refer to does not seek an end to alimony; only permanent alimony. To say the children will be harmed with reform is bunk since child support is it's own entity. I have one in college and one about to graduate high school. My house was foreclosed and I can not help my son with college expenses because of the support I have to pay; support that puts a roof over the head of a millionaire thatlives with my ex and 16 year old daughter!! How does NOT paying lifetime alimony hurt them? No sir; it's designed to hurt me, the payor. My ex soon after trial had her millionaire boyfriend move in with her. Cohabitation is an event that allows for modification; tell me sir, how successfull are those trials? I have no problem in paying support for a period of time to allow for an ex spouse to adjust to rentering the workforce but what is equitable about giving half of a military retirement and half of my primary employer retirement then continuing to pay alimony from the half that remains once I reach mandatory federal retirement? There are convicted murders that serve shorter state sentences. I divorced a 46 year old woman at the age of 50 and will have to pay her longer than the length of the marriage! No sir! The laws need to be changed and the fact that Florida (in your words) "having the most progressive (liberal) laws" is not a badge of honor for this state. Nation wide laws are changing and Florida needs to follow!! Indentured servitude is un-constitutional the last time I checked. The only wards of the state are people under court orders to pay these lifetime sentences!!

Permanent Alimony is certainly an abuse. Mr. Manz claims it hurts women and children. I do not think he can defend that statement. He also says the Law is fair, because it provides for "Need" and "The Ability to Pay".
First of all, hurts women and children is not true, because Alimony hurts my children in lack of support from their father. A father who provides, has proven to be responsible, yet the alimony recipient has not proven to be responsible, causing a new set of priorities for the household, usually selfish wants. In my case, at $5000/month permanent alimony, my Ex-spouse spends over $1000/month on her horse, as part of her established need, because the horse is part of the family. My children suffer, because I can No longer financially support them, as THEY were accustomed to. So alimony hurts children.
As far as women, I choose to Love again, yet my Ex-spouse, refuses to remarry, in order to maintain her alimony entitlement. Her private life is beyond the scope of this article, but you get the idea the law is unfair, since her co-habitation does not support alimony termination. My girlfriend, a divorced woman, is in need of my support, but my alimony prohibits it. So, as you see, alimony hurts women and not the other way around.
What our Laws do is pick winners and Losers, thats all, the net economy is the same. Should the governments laws dictate what and who our obligations and priorities are? Divorce is tragic, both economically and emotionally, but the burden of the financial loss is sustained by the provider, usually a male. Attorneys see this as a way to extort money from the hard working provider, so they have special interests in maintaining the current law. My inheritance from my father was used in my modification attempt, " AS my Ability to Pay", although my income fell 75% during these economic depressed times. My Ex-spouses attorney charged me $75,000 or threatend jail. The burden of Proof is on the plaintiff in a modification, therefore you must show " Permanency" in the change. Afterwards, I told them My father was permanently dead and so are the construction jobs! Is this Mr. Manz, fairness??
Our young providers are watching this abuse and learning. Divorce is everywhere, so they watch. Soon, every marriage will be encouraged to have Pre-Nuptials and legal review at the youngest of age. I believe to marry in the spirit of divorce and future financial protection, undermines marriage. We need to restore the institution of marriage to the sacred place it once was, Marry for Love without hesitation. The current laws forces to consider financial hesitation, doubt and fear. Once again, ambulance chasing greedy attorneys have ruined a sacrament given to us by God.
My marriage failed after 25 years, I was the defendant, she the plaintiff, our No Fault State, does not support marriage, since only one of the couple can file and sue for divorce and alimony. Should the plaintiff be allowed Alimony, if they want out and be allowed to "cash in their chips" on being marriage? Is that a legal financial incentive for divorce? Has the defendant created "Damages", to justify "permanent alimony"? Do the obligatory damamges imposed by alimony, infer marriage is a punishable crime committed by the provider? Should we be allowed parole for alimony, under good behavior, like criminals? Ha! Is a Life Sentence of Permanent Alimony, cruel and unusual punishment, for loving and providing for someone beyond 17 years, who does not work and enjoyed a life leisure? Where does the injustice end? Our State Senators undermined by the Florida Bar, need to consider their own children. Pass HB549 and do the right thing. Mr. Manz needs a divorce! I bet he has a Pre-Nup!

Many of us condemned to permanent alimony have the same issues. Here are a few. First, alimony should never be required “until you die”. At least allow people to retire in peace. Second, unless disabled or unemployable, one ex-spouse should not be able to party while the other is made to work. If one does not want to work, at least impute their potential earnings when calculating alimony. Third, enact guidelines so we know what to expect and can avoid having to pay two attorneys in what is often a futile attempt to reduce alimony payments.

Divorce lawyers will claim you can stop alimony at retirement. You decide. Here is what the divorce lawyer who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee inserted into the bill, deleting the paragraphs granting the right to retire. First, one must prove that it is customary for those in your industry to retire at age 67, when darn near everyone I know must do some kind of part time work to keep from eating cat food. Second, in order to retire one must prove that they have already quit work and promise that they will never work again. (Please see cat food comments above.) Third, one must document their health to the judge, because being in good health or being very ill must have some relationship to what is right or wrong about retiring. And, finally, one must justify to the court their “motivation” for retiring. Not even the judges know what that means.

As is obvious, their goal is that one must always retain a lawyer to present their case, and, in all likelihood, one will be denied and never understand why, but will be encouraged to try, try again, for another $5,000 retainer.

This must be stopped. I can only hope that the many honorable family attorneys will take the time to vote within the BAR to make the laws more equitable, and to outvote the minority who place their own income above the needs of the public.

I'm still trying to understand the rational as to why I am legally obligated to pay permanent alimony to my ex-wife who cheated on me, is an ER Nurse with a nice salary and health insurance, educated and healthy while I have no such legal obligation to my kids who are in college, unemployed, without health insurance and are still trying to establish themselves. I think my money would be better served in supporting my kids.

Would you teach your children to depend on you for the rest of your lives.? Would you want your young adult children to NOT be financially responsible for themselves? Would you want your young adult children to live beyond their means? I am sure you would say no, so why do you who receive permanent alimony live your life like this. I have been divorced for 13 years, raised two children, and do not, or have not, and never wanted to receive alimony. I do not depend on my Ex or his wife for money for any reason even though he makes much more money than I do. Shame on you who receive permanent alimony for not being responsible for yourself. Where is your pride?

Mr. Manz loves to cite the long-term marriage. What about people like me? I was married for just a little less than 10 years. My ex-wife was 34 years old when I filed, and I was 35. She has a reading learning disability, but it does not prevent her from getting an education and getting a job. In fact, after we divorced, she obtained more medical certifications, and passed the state test to become a Realtor in the state of Florida. There was a lot of reading involved, and she did it.

She also claims to have Fibromyalgia. It's a disease that most doctors don't even agree exists. It causes non-specific pain that can appear anywhere in your body (I say that's just part of getting older). But, she's physically able to do anything a normal person can do. I've seen her do it. At one point during our marriage, she applied for full Social Security Disability. She was denied. I've seen her lift as much as 50 pounds and carry it around like it was nothing. She's picked ME up... and I weigh almost 230 pounds. You have to understand, she's 5'10" tall, and a fairly muscular woman.

The big one that the judge cited in his Order was that she has a Felony record for fraud that makes it difficult for her to get a job. So, basically, crime DOES pay. Month after month, her crime pays her thousands of dollars.

What I find really interesting is that most people assume that only rich guys who were married for a long time are forced to pay alimony for life. In my case, I was making $76K at the time of my divorce. Not exactly rich. We were both young, and were married for less than 10 years. I had a lawyer. He kept telling me that "Alimony is not an issue in this case." Until, of course, the judge ordered permanent alimony.

So, for a terrible 9 year, 11 month marriage to a woman who committed numerous crimes, I get to pay her for the rest of my life? Is that what you call "fair", Mr. Manz?

This is what today's alimony law is doing to people in Florida. I've met many other people with similar situations. Florida's alimony law MUST change.

Family law in this state = a JOKE!!!!!

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