Another family law reform bill falls to Gov. Scott’s veto pen

Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a contentious bill that would have reformed the state’s alimony system and altered rules on child custody in divorces.

The bill would have required judges in divorce proceedings to adopt a premise for approximately equal time-sharing of children between spouses. Judges could adjust the split based on 20 factors listed in state law.

Scott objected to that provision, saying it would put some parents’ interests ahead of those of their children.

Scott did not comment on the bill’s proposed changes to alimony rules, which would create a formula for payments based on each spouse’s income and the length of the marriage. It also would have terminated permanent alimony payments upon a spouse’s remarriage and allowed for a review upon their reaching retirement age.

Another controversial provision would have permitted alimony renegotiation if the recipient’s income rises by 10 percent. Opponents of the bill said that trigger was set too low, endangering the welfare of recipients, primarily women, who through hard work made progress in providing for their children.

In 2013, Gov. Scott also vetoed a major family law reform bill, which likewise created a presumption for equal child custody. He said that bill would have been unfair to alimony recipients because it would have applied retroactively to longstanding alimony judgments. This year’s bill did not contain retroactive provisions.

Contact a Tampa divorce lawyer and Brandon child custody attorney with the Osenton Law Office To learn more, visit