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In Today’s Florida Divorce News: Alimony Reform in Florida Dies In The Florida Legislature Once Again

See today’s article from the Sun Sentinel concerning the failure of alimony reform in the 2017 legislative session.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, as demonstrated by an accord reached by The Florida Bar and alimony reform advocates.

But even though the one-time adversaries reached reconciliation over a controversial alimony overhaul, the proposal is dead for this year’s legislative session.

Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Chairman Rene Garcia said he won’t schedule the bill for a hearing.

“We have more pressing issues that we’re dealing with as it relates to the safety and welfare of children than to tie up the committee with the alimony bill at this time,” Garcia, R-Hialeah, told The News Service of Florida on Thursday.

Twice over the past four years, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed attempts at revamping the state’s alimony laws.

A proposal vetoed last year would have created a formula, based on the length of marriage and the combined incomes of both spouses, for judges to use when setting alimony payments.

After years of disagreement on the issue, alimony reform advocates and The Florida Bar’s Family Law Section supported the proposal, which would have also eliminated permanent alimony while giving judges some discretion to veer from the formula.

But the plan became hotly contested last year when it was amended to include a child-sharing component that would have required judges to begin with a “premise” that children should split their time equally between parents.

The proposed revisions “have evoked passionate reactions from thousands of Floridians because divorce affects families in many different ways,” Scott wrote in a last year’s veto message after people on both sides of the issue clashed outside his office.

Three years earlier, Scott vetoed a rewrite of the alimony laws because it was retroactive, an element that sparked an outcry from older women who had spent their lives as homemakers.

But this year, the Family Law section and alimony reform advocates appeared to reach consensus, agreeing that the issues regarding children should remain separate.

Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican who’s sponsoring the legislation this year, said she respects Garcia’s decision.

“There’s still a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation that the public has [about the bill],” she said Thursday. “So we just need to do a better job of educating them ahead of time.”

Ways to Support Your Child’s Adjustment to Co-Parenting

The first step to becoming a competent co-parent is to put your child’s needs ahead of your own. Research shows that children who have had equal time with both their mother and father grew into adults who had higher self-confidence and fewer trust issues. Children can benefit from guidance and advice from both parents. It is extremely important to put aside your personal feelings about your ex-partner and encourage your child to have a healthy relationship with the other parent. Kids are hyper sensitive to the tone of voice you use, mannerisms, and unkind words when one parent talks about another so it is important to maintain a positive and encouraging demeanor.

Going from one household to another on a consistent basis is stressful enough for a child. There may be times when it seems as if your child doesn’t want to spend time with you but don’t despair. This is a child’s natural reaction to their changing circumstances. This makes it extremely important for you to work with your ex to create a consistent reliable timesharing schedule so that it provides your child with a sense of security. Having a set schedule also eliminates the potential for the child to feel the need to have to choose between either parent. Working with your ex to select the child’s school, extra-curricular activities, and social engagements, provide the child with a predictable daily schedule which provides a much-needed sense of security during and after the divorce.

One of the keys to helping your child transition between households is to keep them informed of upcoming activities so they know what to expect. Remind the kids ahead of time when they will be going to the other parent’s house or which parent will be taking them to their scheduled activities. It may also be helpful to create an online calendar that either parent can add to and allow the child to review the calendar whenever they want. This way the child can see which parent will be taking them to certain activities or if one parent has a special activity planned. It is also important for you to show enthusiasm about activities that the other parent has planned with the child. This allow your child to feel comfortable with discussing the activities they do with the other parent and not feel the need to hide anything from you.

After a divorce, many children often feel as if they are responsible for their parents’ happiness. Children sometimes feel the need to side with one parent over the other which can cause a rift in their relationship with the other parent. It is extremely important for parents to demonstrate a cooperative and polite attitude when co-parenting. Although it may seem difficult during or right after a divorce, it is important to respect your ex as your child’s parent and to demonstrate to your child that you hold that respect for their parent. If you show your child that you harbor anything but respect for the other parent, this could have a negative impact on their relationship with that parent or even in your own relationship with the child.

Rebuilding your life after divorce may seem like an insurmountable task but this is one of the best ways to help your child adjust to life after divorce. Although you may still be grieving from the end of your marriage, keeping your child out of the middle of the conflicts with your ex will have a huge impact on how they heal from the divorce. It is important to keep in mind that the lessons your children learn in the aftermath of your divorce will have a lasting impact on your child. Children who feel loved and supported by both parents will have an easier time adjusting to their lives after their parents’ divorce.

If you have a legal question about co-parenting in Broward, Palm Beach or Miami Dade feel free to call the divorce attorneys at Schantz & Schantz for a consultation.

Wow, Politics could ruin your marriage

A recent article in the Huffington Post came up with several ways to deal with different political views in a marriage.  Some of the ideas include the following:

Don’t make the politician a surrogate for your spouse.  In other words, just because they have different political views does not mean they are similar in everyway to the Politian you may not like.

Keep things in perspective.  Political views can change over time.  Just because your spouse believes differently can still be okay.

Keep politics out bedroom.  There is plenty of time to fight over politics during the day.

Remember you still have core beliefs you both share.

Listen to your spouses views.  It communication that matters.

In our Florida divorce law practice most marriages fail due to commincation issues which develop between the Husband and the Wife.  Often times we have recommended theapy to our client’s who are on the fence concerning whether or not they wish to get divorced here in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach Counties.  If theopy does not work, our client’s know we will do everything the law allows in order to get them the most fair result.  For 34 years Hale Schantz and Laura Schantz have been helping people get through difficult times.  If you would like to have a consultation with a divorce lawyer we have offices in Weston, Florida and Coral Springs, Florida.  Our staff will be more than happy to help you schedule an appointment with one of the divorce lawyers at Schantz and Schantz.  Feel free to give us a call at 954-385-1536.