Years-long divorce reopened to seek revised alimony

The end of a marriage is often a tumultuous time that can quickly degrade into fighting and protracted court battles over finances. One of the most contentious disputes during a Florida divorce often involves the matter of alimony. Recently, there have been efforts to reform the alimony laws.

One of the biggest proponents of the reform is a former candidate for Congress whose divorce case took five years to resolve and has been recently re-opened. When the case was settled in 2013, he was ordered to make monthly support payments to his former wife in the amount of $1,500. She had reportedly refused an offer of $5,400 monthly in addition to a $50,000 lump sum. A judge ruled that the amount she would need to cover her expenses was approximately $2,900, but the former husband’s ability to pay was capped at $1,500.

When the former wife noticed how much the man was spending on his campaign, she decided to file for a revised alimony payment as well as seeking arrears payments and attorney fees. A judge recently ordered her former husband to pay her fees in the amount of $20,000 as well as increased alimony payments. He refused and was found in contempt of court.

In an effort to avoid arrest on the contempt charges, he fled to another state, though he has informed the court of his current address and has participated in hearings by phone.  He has stated that he has no intention of returning to Florida as long as the laws remain the same. Lawmakers are trying to institute reforms that would eliminate life-time alimony and would order support to be based on only half of the length of the marriage. In addition, payments would end at retirement. Florida residents who are concerned about their financial well-being in the wake of a divorce may seek the guidance of an attorney who can arrange a settlement that may provide financial stability.

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