|Published:||Apr 05, 2013 11:38 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Apr 05, 2013 11:38 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, FL-- Big changes in the way alimony gets awarded passed the Florida Senate. The bill would eliminate permanent alimony and make almost all kinds of alimony harder to get.
Teresa Burns divorced her husband back in 1996. The stay at home mom, who raised two children, was awarded $1,900 a month in alimony payments.
"Since i have got his kids and I felt it was his duty to pay and help me survive in life," she said.
The way the law in Florida is now , an ex-spouse can end up paying alimony for the rest of their life.
"I've been held in bondage by the state and forced to pay alimony against my will for the past 30 years," said R.C. Lindsey.
But now a new bill would eliminate alimony for life, substituting a definite time limit. It would also make it harder to get alimony at all if your marriage was short.
"There has certainly been a change in society, clearly," said Luis Insignares.
Fort Myers family attorney Luis Insignares says if the bill passes it will be much easier for alimony payers to re-open their cases to try and stop paying.
"I think there is going to be a flood of litigation," Insignares said.
From 2011-2012 nearly 202,000 alimony cases were re-opened. Members of the Florida Bar Association feel that number will double if the bill passes.
Spouses like Burns don't like the idea of any change because she says once alimony is awarded, she depended on the monthly income.
"No, I think once the court system makes the decision, I think it ought to stick. No matter how many years it is," said Burns.