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Will Governor Scott Say ‘I do’ to Alimony Bill?
Will Governor Scott Say ‘I do’ to Alimony Bill?

The fight between those who want alimony changed in Florida and those who do not is spirited, but a decision will not be drawn out. Christine Jordan Sexton reports for the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Gov. Rick Scott has until May 1st to sign, veto, or allow SB 718 to become law without his signature. The bill alters the state’s alimony and child custody statutes by eliminating permanent alimony, limiting other types of alimony and placing a presumption into law that parents have joint custody of children.

Scott has just seven days after receiving the bill to act, since the Legislature sent the bill for approval while they were still in session. Had the Legislature sent Scott the bill after May 3, when they adjourn, he would have had 15 days to react.

Scott, who just celebrated his 41st wedding anniversary with his wife, Ann Scott, has not said whether he supports the measure.

“I like being married,” Scott said last week when asked about the alimony bill. “I want to stay married to my wife.”

Bill sponsor Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, told the Business Journal on Friday that the bill was sent to Scott while they were still in session because it’s a priority.

Workman noted that the Legislature already had sent a number of bills to the governor, including ethics reform.

“This is just another one of those reforms,” he said. “I think this is the most pro-family bill he can sign this session.”

Workman noted that the bill was passed by a “supermajority,” which means that if Gov. Scott vetoed the measure they could have the required two thirds vote to override Scott’s potential veto.

“When you have a supermajority vote that means you have Democrats and Republicans, men and women, black and white, everybody joining to pass a bill in overwhelming numbers,” Workman said. “There’s no need to wait until after session to present the bill. Let’s get this done.”

Perhaps just as importantly this gives opponents a limited time to muster a veto campaign. The legislation has already sparked an intense battle across social media and the Internet. Scott’s office has already received more than 3,600 emails in April from those supporting and opposing the bill.

If you have questions regarding alimony/spousal support, divorce or child timesharing (custody), please contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with Managing Attorney Jeffrey Feulner. Attorney Feulner is an experienced advocate for the male point of view in all aspects of family law.