No need for task force, implement alimony reform
ALAN ROSS FRISHER, MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
Current law has been financially self-serving to the litigating attorneys at the expense of divorcing spouses and their families
Representatives Cynthia Stafford and Lori Berman, in their recent Point of View article, “Create task force before taking up alimony reform again” (June 27), state, “If alimony reform is necessary — a point that is far from settled — then it should be done in response to … well-reasoned analysis.”
As a financial adviser, certified divorce financial analyst, and president of Family Law Reform, I can personally and professionally attest to the atrocities occurring within our current family law system with regard to divorce.
Current alimony law, like an insidious cancer, is figuratively — and sometimes literally — killing our citizens and causing irreparable damage to the family unit in our society.
To draw an analogy, when doctors see a tumor, they typically cut it out before it grows or metastasizes. Sure, they can study it some more and watch it grow, but at what cost to the patient? Good doctors, like good legislators, handle the situation effectively, and as soon as possible.
Similarly, outdated and dysfunctional alimony laws need to be “cut out” as soon as possible because they are extremely harmful to our citizens.
Legislators have already studied and debated the need for alimony reform for the better part of eight years. I have personally been working with them as well as the leaders of the Family Section of the Florida Bar. Initially the leaders of the Family Section stated that Florida had “among the most progressive alimony laws in the nation.” They argued there is no reason to change current law.
Family Law Reform, as the largest alimony reform group in the nation, effectively educated our legislators to the fact that current law has been financially self-serving to the litigating attorneys at the expense of divorcing spouses and their families. Thousands of stories have been annotated and told about the bias, abuse, and never-ending cost, both financially and emotionally, inflicted upon our unsuspecting divorcing citizens and their children, all at the hands of litigating divorce attorneys ensconced within the judicial system.
After eight years of testimony, leaders of the Family Section of the Florida Bar have now finally agreed that not only is change necessary, it is expected by society. Our legislators in the House and Senate voted twice by super majorities in favor of proposed alimony reform law.
Setting up a task force to study a problem that is so obviously in need of change is a transparent attempt to maintain the status quo for alimony recipients and litigating family attorneys who personally benefit from the continued and substantial income allotted to them by current law; as well as a judicial system that thrives because of inconsistent and unpredictable results from one case to the next.
Current alimony law is outdated, superfluous and unwarranted. Creating a task force would only stave off the inevitable. The time to reform our current abusive alimony law is now.
ALAN ROSS FRISHER, MELBOURNE
Editor’s note: Mr. Frisher is president of Family Law Reform, Inc.
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