A group known as the First Wives Advocacy group is among those strongly against a new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that does away with what’s known as permanent alimony.
The group explained their position, saying, “it has put older women in a situation which will cause financial devastation.”
Camille Malone Fiveash said the change to Florida’s alimony laws has her wanting to change her allegiance.
“I feel like the state of Florida is very female-unfriendly at this point. I’m really disappointed because I’m a Republican. I voted for Gov. DeSantis and this makes me very sorry that I did,” Fiveash said.
Fiveash, who was married for more than 30 years, said she agrees and made concessions in her divorce based on getting alimony for life.
“My ex-husband wanted me to stay home. He wanted to pursue his career and me to take care of the kids and keep the household and everything just perfect for him. Dinner on the table when he came in and all the wonderful things. And I did those things. I held up to my end of the bargain,” said Fiveash.
Those in favor of the changes say it forces them to work long past the age they wanted to retire because they had to make alimony payments.
The law also allows ex-spouses to seek modifications to alimony agreements when they want to retire.
St. Petersburg family attorney Nicole Pearlman said she’s getting many calls from her clients wondering what the changes really mean.
“The court is always going to start with need and ability that has not changed. So it doesn’t matter if there is a difference in income or if you are married for 20 years. If there’s no need, there’s going to be no alimony,” said Pearlman.
The statute was also amended to force the court to reduce or end alimony if the person getting alimony is in a supportive relationship that does not have to be a marriage.
“A lot of people think in their heads, well, I’m not going to marry this person, so I get my alimony still. But that’s not the way it works. And that was the way it was forever. The statute just put that in writing,” said Pearlman.
Fiveash has been fighting these changes from happening for a decade and says the new law will only line the pockets of lawyers and the elite wealthy.
“And the rest of us. The older women here in Florida. Well, we are just going to be maybe collecting government assistance,” said Fiveash.
Source: ABC Action News