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Lawmakers looking to change alimony

New system would change the way alimony is calculated

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JACKSOVNILLE, Fla. – Tallahassee lawmakers are looking to change the way Florida families pay alimony.

Two bills circulating through the statehouse would be the first overhaul of the system in more than 30 years. One is currently in the house, and one is in the senate.

A local family attorney feels with possibly a few changes, this alimony reform is likely to become law.

If the bills pass, the new system would calculate the amount and duration of alimony using multiple formulas based upon marriage length and the difference between the parents' incomes.

For example, the combined amount of child support and alimony could never exceed 55% of the payer's net income.

I spoke to a local family law attorney about both sides of the issue.

"The proponents of the bill argue it will make things more predictable, certain, reasonable and more uniform among the judges. The opponents of the bill would argue it's kind of a one side fits all approach and it removes too much direction from a judge to assess things for a particular situation," said Lawrence Datz, a family law attorney.

The bills would mostly favor the parents who pay alimony. If the bills pass, parents paying alimony now won't see a big change. The bills are currently in committee where arguments are being heard on both sides.