Men's, women's group fight over alimony bill

Posted at 7:07 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 19:07:56-04

A controversial bill waiting on Governor Rick Scott's desk is splitting men's and women's groups across Florida.

A rally was held in Tallahassee, with both sides fighting over whether the state should uphold or end permanent alimony when couples divorce.

The bill in question would end permanent alimony in most divorces and instead look at the length of a marriage and the husband and wife's income levels when deciding the amount and length of alimony payments.

Supporters and opponents are most focused on one part of the bill, however, that says when parents split, they should be given equal custody of children.

Supporters say fathers deserve equal custody rights.

Splitting custody 50/50 could end child support in many situations, because fathers would have just as much time with their children as mothers.

Opponents say small children need their mothers more, and they say women need the financial support to make up for the loss of income in nurturing a child.

"What did the father do?" said women's advocate and co-founder of Families Against Court Travesties Adele Guadalupe. "He contributed his sperm. The mother carried the baby for nine months. The mother had the nausea and threw up, probably had to give up her job. The mother had to give birth, the mother has to breastfeed the child. All of the sudden, the mother counts for nothing and the father has a 50-percent right to this child when it's young? It goes against nature. It goes against justice. It goes against everything we have been brought up to believe."

Governor Scott vetoed a similar bill a few years ago. He has until next Tuesday to either sign or veto this bill.