Governor Rick Scott vetoes Florida alimony bill, would have ended permanent payments

Scott feared impacts of retroactively applying law

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - WEST PALM BEACH — Just a few hours before a Midnight deadline, Governor Rick Scott vetoed a controversial divorce bill that would have ended permanent alimony.

The bill would have not only put limits on alimony payment amounts and how long one would receive it, but it also would have been applied retroactively.

Some Floridians divorced years ago might have seen their alimony settlements renegotiated or ended altogether.

In a letter released by Governor Scott, he said the retroactive application of the law could have had a big financial impact.

"The retroactive adjustment of alimony could result in unfair, unanticipated results. Current Florida law already provides for the adjustment of alimony under the proper circumstances," Governor Scott wrote in part.

West Palm Beach resident who have been through divorces and had to deal with alimony had mixed reactions.

"I worked for 40 years and got divorced. Why should I continue to pay? My wife had a better education than I did, probably a better job. It's unfair," said Charles Marchbanks.

Others who have been through divorces and dealt with alimony supported the veto.

"They've helped support the person that's making the money, they've raised the children, they've taken care of the home and they've contributed in a very valuable way. Why should they have a lower standard style of life because they're divorced?" questioned Donna Marks, who has been divorced three times.

Others said they could see both sides and felt times have changed in terms of careers.

"I don't think that anybody needs alimony for life because in this day and age, everybody works," said JoAnn Taylor, a divorcee who lives in West Palm Beach.

The governor's veto could be overridden with a two-thirds vote in both the Florida House and Senate.

With only two days left in the legislative session, it is unclear whether there is enough time and votes for that to happen.

A Facebook page for Florida Alimony Reform is filling up with comments. 

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