Florida Governor Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill That Could Have Helped Families and Small Businesses

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FL Governor Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill That Would Have Helped Families and Small Business

what-happened-to-equality-20162Siding with a minority of liberals, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) yesterday vetoed alimony reform legislation that Florida’s GOP-controlled legislature had passed by a margin of nearly two to one, even though it was supported by 70% of Floridians. Scott’s veto was unfair, anti-family, and anti-small-business. But it thrilled some wealthy divorce lawyers, who hired high-paid “lobbyists with close ties to Scott” to lobby him to kill the bill.

Scott vetoed the bill even though sponsors of the legislation removed the very provision in it that led Scott to veto an earlier version of the bill in 2013 (the fact that it would have applied to pre-existing alimony awards, rather than just those set in the future). The bill would have “eliminated permanent alimony,” replacing it with a more nuanced “formula, based on the length of marriage and the combined incomes of both spouses, for judges to use when setting alimony payments.”

Under existing Florida law, people can be forced to pay alimony even when they are blameless and their adulterous ex-spouse has moved in with a lover. For example, in Baxter v. Baxter (1998), the wife “fell in love with a woman friend and moved with her to a mountain top in Puerto Rico. Although the wife’s friend ha[d] an income of over $100,000 a year,” the wife sought and obtained “$860 per month” in alimony. In Heilman v. Heilman (1992), the state appeals court reversed the denial of an adulterous wife’s request for alimony after she moved in with her lover, rejecting the argument that “the family’s emotional devastation at the news of the extra-marital affair” weighed against alimony. No innocent spouse should be forced to pay permanent alimony in such circumstances.Florida TFRM - 2016

Yet under Florida law, alimony is presumptively permanent, rather than for a shorter period, when the marriage is deemed long-term, such as a 17-year marriage. While alimony can play a useful role in helping a spouse get back on her feet after a divorce, that does not justify routinely or reflexively awarding permanent alimony. That is an archaic vestige of an earlier time when many jobs were closed to women, women were less likely than men to attend college, and the lack of modern appliances meant wives spent far more time doing housework than they do today, leaving them less able to financially support themselves.

To justify his veto this time, Scott disingenuously cited harmless language in the bill containing an initial “premise” that, absent evidence to the contrary, parenting should be shared equally by divorced parents, claiming that could somehow harm children. But this language was not really new: this provision was just a milder version of joint-custody language found in the earlier, 2013 version of the bill, which Scott never objected to on this ground. Such shared parenting laws are hardly unusual — states such as Iowa, Idaho, and Louisiana have a stronger presumption of joint custody. Even the liberal District of Columbia has a statutorily mandated “rebuttable assumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child.” (See D.C. CODE § 16-91).

Scott’s veto is also bad for small business owners, business formation, and job creation in Florida. As I noted in 2013 in the Tampa Bay Times,

Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bipartisan alimony reform bill missed an opportunity to improve the state’s business climate… . Florida courts have discouraged the creation of small businesses through one-sided alimony rulings that ratchet alimony up but not down. They are far more eager to increase people’s alimony obligations when their new business succeeds than to cut their alimony when their new business fails, even though both success and failure affect people’s income and their ability to pay alimony. Since most new businesses fail, this is a potent disincentive to taking the risk of creating a new business. Thus, Scott erred in claiming that ‘current Florida law already provides for the adjustment of alimony under the proper circumstances.’”

Alimony awards are often permeated with gender bias, a reality chronicled by Richard Crouch, a prominent family lawyer, in the Virginia state bar publication Family Law News. (See Crouch, Support Obligations in Mean Times: The Virginia Courts and the Recession, Fall 1992 Issue.) For example, the Virginia Court of Appeals denied alimony to a father even though his ex-wife made five times what he did, and he was the caregiver for the couple’s children, and instead ordered him to pay his ex-wife 40 percent of his meager disability pension, in Asgari v. Asgari [2000]. It is hard to imagine a similarly-situated ex-wife not receiving alimony for at least a few years. For example, in Calvin v. Calvin [1999], the appeals court awarded a wife alimony despite describing her as adulterous, “vindictive and cruel.” As Crouch notes, in Virginia family law, “sex is the difference that makes a difference.” Virginia courts also have shortchanged veterans in divorce cases.family-law-reform-demonstration-at-lawson-e-thomas-courthouse-miami-florida-1

In Florida, gender bias is also common in divorce court. But there, even women have been ordered to pay unfair alimony awards. At Town hall, Rachel Alexander notes that one Florida woman “was ordered to pay lifetime alimony to her ex-husband based on a 14-year-long marriage. Many couples who were only married for 10 years are now in their 20th year of alimony. Some didn’t have any children, or if there are any, they’re often grown.” The bias against breadwinner spouses built into state alimony laws and case law is more pronounced than the informal bias against men that exists in its courts.

As a result, female breadwinners, like male breadwinners, can be saddled with unfair lifetime alimony obligations. That makes lifetime alimony a threat to female professionals and business owners, not just males.

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law.

Source: FL Governor Vetoes Alimony Reform Bill That Would Have Helped Families and Small Business

Letter Template To Your State-Federal Elected Officials Asking Where They Stand On Family Law Reform

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

CAN OUR LEGISLATORS CAN PROTECT US FROM THE HORRORS OF FAMILY COURTS TO IMPOSE EQUALITY STANDARDS?

Should men become husbands and fathers—and many men today are choosing not to—they don’t stand a chance in a court of law if and when they get divorced. Family court judges are hopelessly biased against fathers. Of the two million restraining orders issued each year—85 percent against men—half don’t include any evidence of violence but rely on vague complaints made without proof or evidence. And once an order is issued, it becomes nearly impossible for a father to retain or regain custody or even get to see his own children. “Right under our noses, massive systemic injustice is being visited upon fathers, threatening the very fundamentals of family, society, and democracy,” writes Todd M. Aglialoro.

Should men become husbands and fathers—and many men today are choosing not to—they don’t stand a chance in a court of law if and when they get divorced. Family court judges are hopelessly biased against fathers. Of the two million restraining orders issued each year—85 percent against men—half don’t include any evidence of violence but rely on vague complaints made without proof or evidence. And once an order is issued, it becomes nearly impossible for a father to retain or regain custody or even get to see his own children. “Right under our noses, massive systemic injustice is being visited upon fathers, threatening the very fundamentals of family, society, and democracy,” writes Todd M. Aglialoro.

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Let us make the politicians and media aware of all the knowledgewe have of Family Court and Child Protection
Let us make the politicians and media aware of all the knowledge we have of Family Court and Child Protection
The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by this amendment (First) and Amendments 5, 9, and 14. Doe v. Irwin, 441 F Supp 1247; U.S. D.C. of Michigan, (1985).

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The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by this amendment (First) and Amendments 5, 9, and 14. Doe v. Irwin, 441 F Supp 1247; U.S. D.C. of Michigan, (1985).56248-parental-rights

“My children are a gift that God gave me. The state did not receive those children from God and then forward them on to me with conditions. God gave those children to me. I will stand before Him to be judged on how I raise my children, and I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the state to step in and either play God– or play parent.”  – Utah Senator Mark Madsen, during floor debate on Utah’s HB13.

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votefamily - 2015

Let us stop criminalizing good decent men!

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

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Civil Rights Advocate Leon Koziol issues startling report to Justice Department for investigation and hearings on abuse of federal funds in divorce and family courts.

Should men become husbands and fathers—and many men today are choosing not to—they don’t stand a chance in a court of law if and when they get divorced. Family court judges are hopelessly biased against fathers. Of the two million restraining orders issued each year—85 percent against men—half don’t include any evidence of violence but rely on vague complaints made without proof or evidence. And once an order is issued, it becomes nearly impossible for a father to retain or regain custody or even get to see his own children. “Right under our noses, massive systemic injustice is being visited upon fathers, threatening the very fundamentals of family, society, and democracy,” writes Todd M. Aglialoro.

Should men become husbands and fathers—and many men today are choosing not to—they don’t stand a chance in a court of law if and when they get divorced. Family court judges are hopelessly biased against fathers. Of the two million restraining orders issued each year—85 percent against men—half don’t include any evidence of violence but rely on vague complaints made without proof or evidence. And once an order is issued, it becomes nearly impossible for a father to retain or regain custody or even get to see his own children. “Right under our noses, massive systemic injustice is being visited upon fathers, threatening the very fundamentals of family, society, and democracy,” writes Todd M. Aglialoro.

 

Mandate 50/50 physical custody nationwide of all FIT Parents, in initial custody issues, make BOTH Parent equally responsible for raising a child.235b5-50502brights

“There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families, which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood,” Obama said.

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So now the president has spoken…Let us stop criminalizing good decent men, whose only crime is to be poor and have married a woman that had no intention of staying for the long haul…So many men would give their eye teeth to be in their children’s lives, helping raise them, teaching them right from wrong…But due to our Feminist attitude that only MOM is entitled to the children and our gov’t rewarding such behavior everyday in our Family courts, we have a nation of people that are only concerned about “Me”, give no thought what so ever to the consequences of their actions.

Alienated Parents - Call to Action - 2015

The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by this amendment (First) and Amendments 5, 9, and 14. Doe v. Irwin, 441 F Supp 1247; U.S. D.C. of Michigan, (1985).

The time to put Dad back in the family is long past due, and if you don’t take a stand against the problem, then you are part of the problem…CHILDREN NEED THEIR FATHERS… much more than they need anything else. Children are not tools to be bargained with and the sooner America realizes, that they can no longer use children as a weapon to get back at the supposed wrong of the other parent, the sooner our nation will get back on track. A strong family background, with good moral character is what our nation needs.

Too many valuable assets are being wasted on courts, lawyers, and counselors, that could be better spent on raising a child/children. We have tried in the best interest of the child, and it is not working, as too many judges enter the courtroom with a built in bias of this is “my courtroom and I make the law”, and even if you do have a good judge, no one follows up on visitation issues where the custodial parent, decides to totally ignore the court orders and feels as if they own the child. Don’t do this for me, sign this petition for your son, your daughter, your niece, your nephew, your mother, your father.

Petition Sign

Sign this petition for the betterment of America. It affects each and every one of us, in all walks of life.florida-election-topic-20151

Stand with these characteristics – HONOR, COURAGE and VIGILANCEshare stories - 2015

Welcome to Leon Koziol.Com

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Administrator’s note: It has been awhile since our last post but that is because Leon has been working on a comprehensive report to the Justice Department which will hopefully lead to meaningful reforms in our nation’s divorce and family courts. This report has been sent to U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch at the Justice Department in Washington D.C. and it seeks the following:

1) A federal investigation into the abuses of federal funds to the states in divorce and family court proceedings;

2) Proactive measures by President Barack Obama and his administration to include a task force on father discrimination to lend credibility behind his annual upcoming Fathers’ Day message; and

3) Administrative review of draconian support warrant and incarceration practices by local law enforcement to prevent escalating violence reflected by murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina.

Attached you will find cover letter to U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch and first…

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