in the article.
…lists conditions to guide judges on deciding how much time the children spend with each parent.
both Republicans from Lakeland, would take effect Oct. 1 and run the economics and emotion of divorce through a formula on the length and amount.
Senator Dorothy L. Hukill, a Republican from Port Orange, was the lone area vote against the bill. She said the bill has problems, including that its alimony formula uses gross income, even though one parent might spend more on the child than the other. Hukill questioned the need for the presumption of the 50-50 time share since she said there is no presumption now for or against one parent or the other.
“It’s a very delicate situation you are dealing with when you are talking about children and being able to raise children and move on after a divorce,” Hukill said. “I just have lots of concerns” A spouse requesting alimony now must demonstrate a need and then an analysis is done of both spouses’ income and expenses. The judge can set a wide range of alimony, from none to a very high amount.
The formula would calculate the low end on the duration of alimony by multiplying 0.25 times the years of the marriage. The high would be 0.75 times the years of the marriage. No alimony would be given for a marriage of two years or less although a judge could overrule that.
The bill contains an amendment by Sen. Tom Lee, a Brandon Republican, stating that time sharing with children is presumed at approximately half and half for divorcing couples. The judge would then consider a number of conditions to decide if the proportion should be changed, such as the parents’ “moral fitness,” mental and physical health and how often a parent would leave the child with a nonrelative on evenings and weekends.
Rice said the time-sharing portion of the bill only sets a “premise” of 50-50, not a “presumption.” He said that’s a big difference because a presumption would have required significant reasons for a judge to go against the 50-50 time share.
Sanders of Florida NOW said the bill would be unfair to women, who make up the majority of stay-at-home parents. The state Legislature has passed the bill without any economic analysis and has pushed it through along party line votes with the Republicans voting in favor, the press release said.
“This bill is not about parents,” Sanders said in an interview. “It’s about wealthy ex-spouses trying to cut their losses with their former families.”