The (Veto) Pen Is Mightier!

Thanks to a 24 hour news cycle and the mass communication available via the internet, most of you have been aware of the progress of Senate Bill 718 as it made its way through the Florida legislature. The bill would have ended permanent alimony in Florida and would have changed the analysis a Court employs when determining time-sharing with children.

Specifically, it would have legislated that a Court start from the presumption that 50/50 time sharing is in the best interest of children. The Bill had the potential to dramatically change how divorce cases are handled, and to wreak havoc on children who have grown accustomed to a particular schedule.

After passing the House and Senate by wide margins, the bill was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott.

His primary reason for pulling out the veto pen was a provision in the Bill that made it retroactive. That means it would have applied to alimony awards and time sharing schedules entered long ago. According to the Governor, under the new law’s retroactive application would have been too disruptive to families and former spouses who have spent years operating the previous structure.
So for now the veto pen is mightier than the legislature’s vote. But don’t get too comfortable! Considering the Governor’s clearly stated concern about the law applying retroactively, it is likely State lawmakers will start work on a revised version of the law, which applies only prospectively, very soon. In the meantime, we hope everyone is ready for Summer and wish you all a blessed end to the school year.