Lawmakers press Gov. Scott to sign alimony bill - FOX 13 News

Lawmakers press Gov. Scott to sign alimony bill

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

The fate of a bill revamping Florida's alimony laws is in the hands of Governor Rick Scott.

The legislation has already passed the House and Senate by big margins, but it is facing stiff opposition from lawyers with the Florida Bar. They are calling on the governor to veto the measure.

Today the bill's sponsors tried to rally support. Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Ritch Workman say the current alimony system is broken and unfair to everyone in the process.

They cited one example in which the litigation from a divorce ran on for seven years and by the time it was completed, the ex-wife got $1,000 and the lawyers ended up with $450,000.

"We're saying that we want to have fairness in the system, a system that was based on the skill of your attorney and the judge that you got. Now has a framework in place so that people who have to go through the very unfortunate and very difficult decision of a divorce can now have some fairness and consistency in what they're going to get on the other side," Stargel said.

Some women's groups oppose the bill and that political factor could be a factor for Gov. Scott. His ratings are low among women voters and a veto might help him with that group.

"If he needs a woman's vote, then this bill is not one he should veto," Workman said. "This is about fairness and so am I concerned he will veto it? No, not if he's interested in doing what is right for tomorrow's kids."

The bill creates new standards for awarding alimony and caps payments based on the length of a marriage and a person's income.

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