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House alimony reform clears last panel

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A bill aimed at effectively ending permanent alimony is heading to the House floor after clearing its last committee of reference on Thursday. The Judiciary Committee approved the measure (HB 455), sponsored by Republican state Rep. Colleen Burton of Lakeland, by a 14-3 vote. Chiefly, the measure limits judges’ discretion in awarding alimony by providing guidelines for how much an ex-spouse should get and for how long. The idea is that “no matter where you live, you can anticipate you will receive equal treatment,” Burton said. Her bill picked…

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2016 Legislative Food Fights: Legal, judicial reforms again on lawmakers’ to-do list

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They don’t get as much attention as policy debates that gum up and even fracture legislative sessions (think Medicaid expansion), but a slew of proposed legal-related changes will be before legislators this year – some new, some old standbys. For instance, the Legislature will try to overhaul Florida’s alimony law for at least the third time in recent years. The same sides have aligned against each other: Ex-spouses – largely men – who say “forever alimony” isn’t fair, and their former mates – mostly women…

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Today on Context Florida: #BadDealforFlorida, alimony reform and Good Karma $1

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Today on Context Florida: When state lawmakers approved the original 2010 gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe, John Sowinski says they promised Florida residents it would serve as a firewall against the further expansion of gambling. The proposed renewal of the compact is a complete violation of that trust. In fact, he adds, the renegotiated compact will lead to the largest gambling expansion in state history, taking South Florida in the direction of Las Vegas and Atlantic City while creating pressure…

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Alimony overhaul bill clears first House panel

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A House bill aimed at overhauling and streamlining the state’s alimony rules cleared its first panel Wednesday, despite a retired judge telling lawmakers “bad things are going to happen to nice people” if the measure becomes law. The Civil Justice Subcommittee OK’d the bill (HB 455), sponsored by Republican state Rep. Colleen Burton of Lakeland, along party lines. It’s the third time in recent years the Legislature has attempted to change Florida’s alimony law. Pitted once more against each other are…

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Retired Circuit Judge says Tom Lee’s alimony legislation would set a “dangerous” precedent if enacted

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Once again, Brandon Republican state Senator Tom Lee proposed alimony legislation (SB 250) that would end the awarding of lifetime payments by the ex-spouse making the most money in the relationship is causing a ripple in Tallahassee. One of the most controversial pieces of the legislation is requiring judges to allow the divorcing parents get equal time with children from the marriage. In an op-ed obtained by Florida Politics, retired Judge Robert M. Evans calls Lee’s bill “dangerously flawed” and urges…

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Women’s group calls on Rick Scott to reject Tom Lee’s proposed alimony bill

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Although a legislative proposal to put an end to permanent alimony died in the Regular Session this year, it’s coming back in 2016, and a women’s group opposing the proposal is calling on Gov. Rick Scott to put a stop to it if reaches his desk. UniteWomen.Org FL is opposing SB 250, a bill sponsored by Brandon Republican state Sen. Tom Lee that would require a court to consider certain alimony factors and make specific written findings of fact after making specified determination, including a…

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