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Alimony bill sponsors urge Scott to sign bill into law

by Dara Kam | April 23rd, 2013

Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, and Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, publicly urged Gov. Rick Scott to sign into law a bill (SB 718) revamping the state’s alimony laws.

“You have to be able to move on. Divorce sucks anyway. And Florida law shouldn’t make it suck worse,” Workman told reporters at a press conference this morning.

Workman said Scott is expected to receive the bill today. Scott will have seven days to act on the bill, which would become law without his signature if he does not veto it before then.

Groups on both sides of the issue – the Family Law section of the Florida Bar and Florida Alimony Reform – have launched dueling petitions asking Scott to veto or sign the bill. The Family Law section opposes the measure, saying it puts women – who are more likely to receive alimony – at a disadvantage. The alimony reform proponents have been trying for years to get the law changed because they say current law is unfair and forces some spouses to pay alimony for life to their exes even if they have been married a short time. More than 2,200 people have signed online petitions asking for the veto compared to about 6,000 in favor.

Workman said he is not concerned that Scott will veto the bill but “want to make sure this bill has a fair shot of being signed” and that the governor reads nearly 6,000 stories sent to him from families supporting the changes.

“I hope he can see that laws need to be updated. They need to be gender-neutral. They need to be blind to the sex of the individual and they need to be fair and just,” he said.

Stargel, who said she has been married for 29 years, said she sponsored the bill because she saw “a system that was abusive” to both spouses.

“What we’ve done is put in a framework that makes it fair for everybody,” she said.

The measure effectively does away with permanent alimony and eliminates alimony for people married less than 11 years. Florida Department of Health statistics for the past five years show that the average length of marriage in Florida that end in divorce last less than 10.5 years.

The measure would also:
_ Generally prevent alimony payments from lasting longer than one-half the length of the marriage.
_ Set a formula for alimony payments based on the income of the payer and the length of the marriage.
_ Allow ex-spouses who retire to end or reduce alimony.
_ Give judges now responsible for determining the amount of alimony discretion only in special circumstances.

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37 Responses to “Alimony bill sponsors urge Scott to sign bill into law”

  1. Appropriate Says:

    “You have to be able to move on. Divorce sucks anyway. And Florida law shouldn’t make it suck worse,”

    Really? From an elected official?

  2. Terry Power Says:

    Current law prevents me from marrying my fiancee since her income would be attacked by my ex-spouse’s divorce attorney.

    The divorce attorney lobby is pulling out all the stops to paint this bill as anti-woman, when it’s really pro-family!

    Older alimony recipients who have “aged-out” of the workforce will continue to be protected as they have by the courts.

    This bill is just about fairness, predictability, and preserving judicial discretion. Florida remains one of the only states in the country to allow permanent alimony….even for marriages of less than 10 years! This is just ridiculous!

    Please sign the bill, Governor Scott! It’s an important piece of legislation not just for us but for our children!

    Terry Power
    Clearwater, Florida

  3. djnfla Says:

    It is difficult to qualify for alimony. There are various requirements that must be met and presented in court. So the current law is already difficult enough, and why the Republicans want to change this is beyond me.

    I am a Registered Republican and I am getting ready to leave the party. I am fed up.

  4. djnfla Says:

    It is difficult to qualify for alimony. There are various requirements that must be met and presented in court. So the current law is already difficult enough, and why the Republicans want to change this is beyond me.

    I am a Registered Republican and I am getting ready to leave the party. I am fed up.

  5. Vince Pert Says:

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  6. throbo Says:

    This is a great bill.
    Most women hit the walls within 10 years and this would allow us to upgrade our spouses with minimum cost. Can we also get the engagement and wedding rings back?

  7. Tina Viera Says:

    Opposition has come forward suddenly with fear and horror stories that people will be left scrambling with nothing…and say the majority is women who can’t fend for themselves. I, as a woman, highly take offense to these statements and say that people have a tendency to become complacent when it’s easy to. They don’t get up and do for themselves because they don’t have to. Lawyers allow their greed to selfishly go after divorce parties to prolong litigation to line their pockets! Plus children need both parents in their lives…Non custodial parents are NOT visitors. Please sign the bill Gov. Scott

  8. Ellen Says:

    djnfla – difficult to get alimony? You’re kidding right? Divorce attorneys are urging women to go after everything they can get. Women – and men – who have a degree and have worked in the past, quick or reduce their hours so they can collect alimony. My husband has been paying alimony for 15 years to his x wife, who has a degree and refuses to work full time. This needs to change.

  9. Laurie Says:

    It is NOT difficult to qualify for alimony..that’s the real crime here. I’m a lifelong democrat, and sick of the way people pick and choose which “entitlements” are okay based on how it may affect THEM. Lifetime alimony is no different than lifetime welfare…someone getting money for life that they didn’t earn from someone else who went out and busted their butt to earn it. You can’t support one and not the other, it’s completely hypocritical.

  10. Nannette Cobb Says:

    Please sign and support Alimony Reform. We have been paying an ex-spouse Lifetime Alimony since age 41, for a childless marriage. Ex-spouse is college educated and refuse to work until Lifetime Alimony was awarded. Ex-spouse also filed for the divorce and by refusing to work, had to pay for both lawyers during a 2 1/2 year divorce. Current laws are not working for Florida Families. Parents do not argue over child support any more because we have guidlines and you know when the child reaches age 18 years that your financial obligation ends..but with Lifetime Alimony it ends at death, and usually a huge life insurance goes to the ex-spouse.

  11. gail B. Cohen Says:

    The Alimony Reform Bill will put an end to “slavery” in the state of florida. Where else could you find that a hardworking, honest,loving parent, is forced to pay someone (essentially a stranger at this point) and support them ( a helathy, able bodied adult) throughout their lifetime,without any opportunity for modfication. The present laws are archaic and do not allow for women and men to lead productive, independent lives, working to better themselves and their situations.
    The attorneys are the only people truly benefitting from the OLD laws. They coerce and bully men and women into decades of litigation, merely because the law allows them to do so, because they “can”.
    Now, with monies taken from Floridas families,these attorneys are trying to bully the Governor into vetoing the bill. an incredibley fair,gender neutral bill .The Florida Senate and House both voted in favor of this bill and there is no reason for the Governor to delay in signing the bill into law if in fact he is supportive of EQUALITY and fairness under Florida’s laws.

  12. Toni Says:

    So “Laurie Says” I guess a Mother who stayed home and cared for her children, took care of the home, etc. didn’t work hard enough for you and isn’t entitled to alimony now that she’s been dumped by her husband for a newer model. Wait till the same happens to you, and then you will be singing a different song.

  13. Lee Kallett Says:

    I support passage of the alimony reform legislation as it goes a long way towards correcting our State’s outdated, unjust, and ultimately unfair alimony laws. Apparently our legislators are listening to the overwhelming support of their constituents and the people of Florida and not the misinformation and propaganda being spread by the Family Law Section or other special interest groups with vested interests in preserving the status quo. Florida is one of only a few states that still allow lifetime alimony that does not end at retirement, but only ceases upon death or remarriage of the recipient. It’s about time Florida follows the rest of the country into the 21st century!
    The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar is opposed to this bill and has been spreading misinformation about both the bill and the current divorce and alimony law in what can only be viewed as their selfish attempt to preserve the litigation-derived income. They assert this bill, if approved, would be devastating to families and this is absurd. The families in question were already devastated when the divorce occurred. It is the current laws that further devastate the parties afterwards by bleeding one while encouraging dependency in the other. The new bill does not in any way alter child support responsibilities so children’s welfare remains protected and provided for.

    The FLS claims the proposed bill is anti-women and this is also completely untrue. Indeed, there are women paying lifetime alimony too, in some cases to men who abused them! Florida’s antiquated alimony laws date from an era when women were less educated and not expected to support themselves. Times have changed and single and divorced women are educated, trained, gainfully employed and financially independent.

    The bill does, however, call for abolition of permanent alimony and the establishment of specific guidelines on how long alimony should be paid. Divorce shouldn’t carry a lifetime penalty to one party for the benefit of the other. When a couple divorces, separation of lives should follow.

    - Alimony should provide for a transition to a new life and not permanently fund that new life
    - Alimony should be awarded based on need with established guidelines
    - Alimony and its length should be determined via a formula and not the whim of a judge

    There is no reason to oppose this bill. Alimony reform is fair. It’s what the people want and it’s the right thing for the State of Florida and its families.

  14. Mary Says:

    Women alimony PAYERS are growing at a dramatic rate as women outnumber men in securing advanced educational degrees, etc.

    Permanent, lifetime “Manimony”, once unheard of, is being granted to men who were married to a spouse for less than 10 years. To say that this bill is somehow “anti-woman” is disgusting and misleading.

    Have these self-serving divorce attorneys no shame? Our current laws only benefit THEM!!!!

    Please sign this excellent bill, Governor Scott!

  15. Terry Power Says:

    This bill has been throughly vetted through both legislative chambers in Florida and passed by a super-majority in both houses….with bipartisan support in both houses.

    The female sponsor in the Senate, Senator Kelli Stargel, understands that this is a pro-family bill, not an anti-anybody bill (ok, maybe anti-predatory family law attorneys….there’s a reason why they’re spending $100,000 on lobbyists to try and get the Governor to veto this, as they’ve stated).

    I trust Governor Scott to do the right thing for Florida’s families and sign the bill into law. Thank you!

  16. Tom Olski Says:

    This bill is Pro Family and does away with a lifetime payment to a person you no longer reside with. Permanent Alimony awards actually cause more friction to a family and definety affect the children in later years. This bill is gender neutral and does away with the vindictive person from abusing the system. A veto of this bill will hurt family’s and allow the attorneys to continue with long litigations , while bankrupting the accounts of the family’s the laws were intended to protect.

  17. Terry Townsend Says:

    I am the perfect example of todays devorce laws in Florida. Married for 29 years and divorced by my wife who never worked outside the home. I am, and have been paying alimoney for over 15 years to My ex wife. When the costly divorce was finally over after spending almost $150,000, I left home with no money in the bank, no place to live, and alimony payments of around $7,000 per month. I have lived the last 15 years in total servitude to my ex wife. Although college educated and the holder of a Florida State Real Estate license, she has refused to work during this period of time.Someone please explain to me how our Divorce Laws are fair and equitable for both Husband and Wife. I am now at retirement age but will have to wait until they throw dirt on me to rest.

  18. Rebecca Says:

    Current laws are unfair and only benefit the attorneys who constantly encourage recipients to fight for more. (Explains why they are fighting the bill!). No one is trying to take alimony completely away. Just make it fair to both parties. Long term stay at home moms will be protected by the new laws. It’s the college educated, able bodied people who shouldn’t get alimony for life so they can quit work. And, really, most divorces are not due to a man trading for a younger model. Marital assets are divided at divorce and this includes retirement funds. Do you really think its fair for the recipient to retire early but the payer can’t without paying HUGE attorney fees to plead to a Judge who can decide whatever they want because current laws are vague. Governor, PLEASE SIGN!! This bill is pro-family

  19. Nick Tufaro Says:

    The strongest organized opposition to this bill is the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. One just needs to take a look at the requirements to become Board Certified as a Family Law Attorney in Florida:
    You will definitely see this group care about women and children as much as Hitler and the Nazi Regime cared for the Jews!
    This bill is NOT anti-women, it’s anti-bottom feeder Family Law Attorneys who make a profit destroying families no matter which spouse they represent.

  20. Elvina Bergmann Kallett Says:

    I strongly urge the governor to pass legislation to stop permanent alimony! At the conclusion of a divorce both parties should walk away in an equitable manner. Prior to the marriage they were individuals with separate lives…..during marriage they merged….and upon divorce the decree should allow them to return to their separate lives. One should not leave the marriage permanently tethered to the other. One should not reap the benefits of a free lifetime of alimony, while the other spends a lifetime wearing a financial noose. The current permanent alimony law does just that. The current law rewards one spouse at the expense of the other. It took two people to make the marriage, and two people to make the divorce. In Florida, a no-fault divorce state, the permanent alimony provision certainly runs counter…..putting blame and pointing fault to the person forced to make lifetime alimony payments. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It needs to change!

    My husband married right out of college to a college educated classmate. They were together for 20 years, and raised 2 kids who were teens when they divorced 8 years ago. He is saddled with paying lifetime alimony of $48,000 year……regardless of what he earns. He can’t change jobs. He can’t pursue new avenues that might give him more satisfaction at less salary. He has to pay the ex $48,000 a year for life regardless! On the other hand…she is able to live a lesbian life (her coming out of the closet was the reason for the divorce). She can travel at leisure when the mood strikes her (with the “salary” provided from her alimony), and she can pursue whatever freelance “job” she wants, when she wants (which is never!).

    I find it unfathomable that in 2013 such a permanent alimony law exists. Maybe…..and I say that only half believing it possible….but, maybe at one time the permanent alimony law made sense, but now….and in my husband’s situation especially…it makes no sense. His ex-wife was in her 40s, and college educated at the time of the divorce. She could have pursued a career and provided for herself. Many a single women survives and prospers in society. Why was she given an easier road upon divorce than my husband? Why should my husband have to make lifetime payments? Why is she treated with kid gloves and given a lifetime of free income while my husband must earn a salary and provide for a women who is no longer in his life? Laws are supposed to provide justice. The permanent alimony law does not. My husband and I deserve a life of our own, free from the ex-wife.

    I encourage a stop to permanent alimony and implement more equitable divorce laws. Alimony should be based upon circumstances, need, and length of marriage. There should certainly be a term limit. Lifetime alimony needs to end now. The bill is not anti-woman. It is a fair law. Governor Scott, you can make that happen!

  21. Marcella Rodgers Says:

    Please sign the bill. My husband and I are trying to get a modification because his ex wife is living with her boyfriend and collectively making more than we are. Her attorney deposed me with questions about my assets and income so I know she will be trying to include those in the calculations. It is patently unfair to make me liable for a divorce that happened over six years ago. The current law is outdated, and it’s nearly impossible to change the terms, even when the receiving spouse is in superior financial condition. The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar is fighting this because it will stop the endless litigation that occurs because of vague and arbitrarily applied rules.

  22. charlie Says:

    A good bill that catches up with the times. Children will have the right to both parents following divorce!

  23. John Waldorf Says:

    This is the 21st century norms have changed and our alimony laws should reflect the new norms. Both men and women are victims of these antiquated laws. They should also respect some of the old laws like eliminating debtors prisons. This is archaic idea which this country dealt with in the 19th century and Judges are still putting people in debtors prisons because they fall behind in alimony payments because of the loss of a job..
    These changes will benefit the children because of less financial pressure on the parties. New statutes will help each party to become independent contributing people who do not have their hand in the public dole.
    All we want is fairness for all parties. We must realize that when a marriage dissolves that the standards of living will not be the same, how could they be if the financial situations have changed?
    This will heal so many wrongs and help us to move on with our lives intact so that we can be better parents our children.

    The children will benefit from this as the will be less acrimony during the divorce and the standards of living for the obligor and oblige will be the same. There will be fewer financial pressures. This bill is not about child support it is about equality in alimony. The children do not care if they live in a 5,000 square foot home or a 1500 square foot home they just want to be loved .
    This is gender neutral legislation.

  24. Bea Says:

    It’s a no brainer. Alimony is outdated. It is a relic from the past when women were the property of a man and they could not work as they do today. Child support is for children so the family law section is just sing scare tactics in saying that this bill hurts women and children. How many men have been hurt as a result of paying alimony for many years after a divorce. Many are driven into bankruptcy and that is NOT all. They must carry a huge insurance policy with the EX as the beneficiary. It is involuntary servitude which is supposed to outlawed by the constitution.

  25. Jeff Says:

    Because of permanent alimony, I can not quit my job and devote 100% of my time to a business I started in may basement. My business has an opportunity to expand and bring jobs to Florida. Permanent alimony is limiting my ability to create a better future for my children because I can not lower my income to devote time to a new high growth business.

    Alimony reform is extremely important for entrepreneurs all across the state of Florida that can not start new businesses because they know they will not receive an alimony modification under the current law.

  26. AngieK Says:

    I am shocked after reading all the horror stories that would convince me that a change has to be made. I dont see why it is difficult to abolish permanent alimony. No one is saying alimony itself is bad. Just endless alimony is unfair! My husband’s ex walked out on him and 2 sons ages 8 & 9 for a different model herself. Whoever thinks that it is only men who leave their spouses is STUPID and BLIND! Women do it too! This one sure did. She oferred very poor mothering, housekeeping, self maintenance to her family and is only awarded permanent alimony after a 13 yr marriage because both his & her attorney scared the life out of him if he didnt sign the “consentual agreement” Now he’s stuck! Rick Scott…step up to the plate and sign this bill so people like her stop getting rewarded for her behavior.

  27. Kevin Says:

    The time has come for a change to Florida’s out of touch permanent alimony laws. Everyone seems to be in agreement here except for the lawyers which should say a lot in itself. Do something worth while for once in your life governor and sign this bill into law today. It would be interesting to see a study that speculates on the number women whose lives would be saved and the number of men who would stay out of prison and continue to lead productive lives by passage of this bill into law. Many unreasonable heavy handed one sided divorce settlement have driven ordinarily good men to carry out unspeakable acts because they were victimized by the courts. Settlements like this have led to more than a few murders in this state. Act today!!

  28. Toni Says:

    Funny how many of the posters are the replacement wives. Wonder if they will think differently when they themselves are replaced by another newer, fresher model.

  29. Suzy Says:

    Alimony is fine. Permanent alimony is slavery. How is that NOTHING is required of the recipient other than to avoid marriage, yet the payor must endure job loss, job changes, career changes, natural disaster, layoffs, etc and still pay alimony or be incarcerated?? The existing laws are a travesty and long overdue for a change

  30. Laira Ries Says:

    They always get out jail card!!!! The kids suffer.. The ex wife suffers and let me see… Who is deciding on the change… MEN!!!!!

  31. Families First Says:

    I oppose this bill and feel the onset of litigation that will ensue with modifications of existing agreements will be harmful to Florida families. I tried for an amicable divorce but my ex insisted on prolonging and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Money that I used from retirement that I will never be able to recoop.
    PLease veto this bill and sign the petition

  32. Lee Kallett Says:

    Here is my alimony horror story. View others at
    Elvina and Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays lifetime alimony to woman unable to remarry

    Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays $4K in permanent alimony to lesbian ex-wife
    This is Lee Kallett and Elvina Kallett. He pays permanent alimony to a woman who left the marriage because she chose to live a lesbian

  33. Scott S Says:

    I am for the Alimony Reform Bill, Please Sign the petition to Request Governor Scott to sign the bill into Law.

    For all those people that say this bill is Anti-Woman and/or that Men are the only ones deciding to change the law, You are ignorant! Just look at the names in this post alone, there are just as many Woman asking for Reform. Not to mention the Votes in the Florida Senate & House of Representatives, plenty of Women Voted YES to Reform!

  34. Elvina Bergmann Kallett Says:

    Dear Governor Scott:

    I have a job interview on Thursday. I plan to tell them I want them to continue my salary forever if I quit or get fired. I also want them to continue to pay my salary when and if I ever get another job. Although, let’s face it: why would I?

    I have drawn up an employment agreement that spells this out, along with the fact that if they go out of business or for some reason can’t afford to pay my salary anymore, they have to sue me to reduce their payments and it will take several months, maybe longer than a year, for a judge to order a reduction – and even then the judge may just decide to keep the payments to me coming.

    What do you think? Sounds like a pretty good deal for me, huh? That’s what lifetime alimony is all about. Why shouldn’t I also have such a good deal?
    (Thank you for this Robin Descamp)

    My husband is paying lifetime alimony to his ex-wife who left the marriage to pursue a lesbian lifestyle. For this, she was rewarded with $48,000/year lifetime alimony. My husband attempted to modify this amount when he made $30,000 less the year after the divorce and has remained at that earning level for the last seven years (he’s in sales and relies on commissions). The Judge ruled that $30,000 less in income wasn’t a sufficiently significant change in circumstances to warrant a reduction. It certainly is to us since my husband is paying some months 65% of his gross earnings to the ex, leaving us with little to live on ourselves.

    I urge your support for alimony reform as it goes a long way towards reforming Florida’s outdated, unjust, and ultimately unfair alimony laws. It’s my sincere hope you are listening to your constituents and the people of this state and not the misinformation and propaganda being spread by the Family Law Section or other special interest groups with vested interests in preserving the status quo.

    1. The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar is opposed to this bill and has been spreading misinformation about both the bill and the current divorce and alimony law in what can only be viewed as a selfish attempt to preserve their own litigation-derived income. There is no other reason to oppose this bill. They assert this bill, if approved, would be devastating to families. This is absurd. The families in question were already devastated when the divorce occurred. It is the current laws that further devastate the parties afterwards by bleeding one while encouraging dependency in the other. The new bill does not in any way alter child support responsibilities so children’s welfare remains protected and provided for.

    2. The FLS claims the proposed bill is anti-women. This is also completely untrue. Indeed, there are women paying lifetime alimony too, in some cases to men who abused them! Florida’s antiquated alimony laws date from an era when women were less educated and not expected to support themselves. Times have changed and single and divorced women are educated, trained, gainfully employed and financially independent.

    3. The FLS claims the existing law already provides for termination of alimony when the obligor reaches retirement age. Like their other allegations, this is patently false and obviously self-serving. While the current law may provide the right to hire a lawyer (likely a member of the FLS!) and seek modification of alimony at retirement age, it does not end alimony payments nor does it assure a reduction in the amount being paid. Many alimony payers cannot afford or even think of retiring and will have to work until the day they die!

    4. While the bill provides for retroactively reviewing and re-hearing previous divorce settlements and possibly ending or modifying alimony, it does not call for the immediate termination of all previous alimony awards. If an alimony recipient can prove a clear need for alimony, the payments would continue. The bill does, however, call for abolition of permanent alimony and the establishment of specific guidelines on how long alimony should be paid.

    Please sign in favor of alimony reform. You will help my family as well as many others.

  35. molly dismuke Says:

    I IMPLORE the governor to support SB718/HB231. My MOTHER currently pays her ex (who has a business degree and chooses not to work) $7000 a month. After being denied modification because her income has gone down (she works in sales), she has to pay him 65% of her earnings.

    This bill is NOT anti-woman. What I find to be anti-woman is hearing that a woman cannot make her own way in this world without the financial support of a man. If a couple is married for 12 years, the obligee is entitled to SIX YEARS of alimony…as well as child support, if eligible!! Are you really to believe that someone cannot begin earning money and supporting themselves in six years?

    Please do the right thing. Support FAMILIES.

  36. Dean Blake Says:

    Alimony is a degrading ‘punishment’ on one of the losers in a marriage ‘lottery lawsuit’. Sometimes for life! Even if the marriage lasted only 12 years! Wow, how can this extortion be allowed? This allows the receiving spouse to get income for life and child support and even live with another person (and enjoy their income) discouraging them for ever getting married again (for fear they’ll lose their alimony). The same personal degradation that happens to people on welfare and other give me programs. Marriage is a EQUAL risk on both parties. Dividing up what the both acquired during the marriage is the only fair way to distribute. To determine a ‘guilty party’ strapped with a ‘debtors prison’ possibility is not only unconstitutional but cruel. The decisions of the parties in a marriage are private and NONE of the governments business. Somehow governments decides “AFTER” a marriage is over whether the couples decision for one parent to stay home and raise children and one to work was fair or not to the stay at home parent.. how has this liberal madness become reasonable? Notice all of the opposition to this alimony law are people not having these payments lashed on them… HYPOCRITES!!

  37. William Heino Sr. Says:

    Unfortunately. alimony reform, although recently vetoed in Florida, was needed to draw attention to state court judges who act outside their role of professionalism by denying equal access to protections already in place for Florida’s disabled veterans. Correcting improper illegal state court rulings imposed on disabled veteran‘s is the issue, according to law, as much as it was any reform legislation. Must Florida veteran’s remain at the back of the alimony reform line despite protections?
    Such are the dreams of the everyday disabled veteran. “It is well established that disability benefits are a protected property interest and may not be discontinued without due process of law. See Atkins v. Parker, 472 U.S. 115, 128 (1985); Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 332 (1976)”
    38 USC 5301 Nonassignability and exempt status of benefits. “Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law,.. a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary.
    The question being, how is it, that state court judges can arbitrarily and capriciously award as alimony, with the mere wave of a hand, waive away a portion of a veteran’s VA disability rated compensation? Moneys in the form of disability compensation, the disability rights of a veteran, whose disability rating that maybe determined and factored in as critical? Judgment as if all disabilities are exactly the same. A disabled veteran’s plead to the judge, “I have a severe serious back injury, I need all of my VA disability compensation.” The judge would reply, “Are you a doctor?”
    But yet, state court judges, are in reality playing doctor, without medical license or knowledge .. a practice forbidden, providing penalties by law , and border on medical negligence. All without any input, or approval from the Veterans Administration. Overstepping those whose authority it belongs, the dedicated VA medical professionals, in the practice of medicine, re-evaluation, and rehabilitation of the veteran. While at the same time violating federal law, 38 USC 5301, 42 USC 1408, and the 14th Amendment.
    Ninth Circuit Says Congress, Not Courts, Have Say Over VA Health Care.
    Continually, State court judges disregard the law, as reduction in disability compensation cannot be “reduced unless an improvement in the veteran’s disability is shown to have occurred.” USC 1155 Authority for schedule for rating disabilities.
    How are judges allowed the discretion to award as alimony disability compensation based on ‘statutory’ awards? Which are not predicated directly on the average reduction in earning capacity, but primarily upon consideration of noneconomic factors such as personal inconvenience, social inadaptability, or the profound nature of the disability. The purpose of the statutory award for loss or loss of use of a creative organ is to account for psychological factors.
    “Clear and substantial” major damage to federal interests occurs when state court judges make lasting decisions, that seriously impact disabled veterans’ rated compensation and complicate Veterans Administration goals, and responsibilities. Upsetting, and overruling VA medical compensation decisions, which involve many hours of work that VA medical professionals have invested in the medical care, control, follow-up, and rehabilitation of disabled veterans. All this happens with VA complicity, when a state court, arbitrarily is allowed to take away a veterans VA disability compensation in third party alimony awards in violation of….. 38 USC 5301. 42 USC § 407 – Assignment of benefits, carries similar language.
    Where is it written, the VA authority, when a state judge can arbitrarily overrule the VA, the VA medical doctors and other medical professionals’ that determine a veterans’ medical rating compensation? His future now without the compensation that was by law assured? Tax payer monies mandated by Congress purposely, as veterans service compensation for injuries received, life altering as they are, now being diverted purposely by state courts to healthy third parties in many cases, in a determined and engaging violation of the law. To allow what has been happening, was it the intent of Congress that state court judges substitute their judgment for the judgment of VA doctors and medical professionals? I don’t think so!
    Perhaps, state legislators will or have proposed legislation such as Massachusetts, West Virginia, California, as well as other states, due to the changing realities of family life, either proposed or passed that ‘permanent current alimony’ obligations be eliminated in alimony reform legislation? Legislation having broad appeal, proposed, and as happened, passed into law without thought or consideration of the disabled veteran wanting, under similar circumstances.
    To this day, there is no eagerness of state legislators to extend this, or any proposal to eliminate veterans disability compensation awards from alimony, despite the law, or any reform measures. The laws protecting disability compensation are very clear. What is needed is reform in the court system, and legislative re-thinking, that for whatever reason, due process and property rights do not apply to disabled veterans? This is something disabled veterans’, despite all efforts at law, over many years have tried to accomplish. Passing alimony reform legislation without disabled veterans would be just another insult. Brushed aside for more important things.
    The law is clear as to a veteran’s rights and a state court judge’s improper judicial authority in denying protections that are guaranteed.
    However, any proposed legislation is discriminatory which completely ignores ALIMONY REFORM for disabled veterans. It is obvious, a pattern of unintentional discrimination is evident against disabled veterans.
    Disabled veteran’s have had the exact same alimony issue as everybody else. However, correcting clearly improper and illegal court rulings imposed on disabled veteran‘s is the issue, as much as it is any reform proposal.
    I hope state legislators will honor them, with clarifying legislation supporting the property rights of the disabled veteran, setting an example for the rest of the nation.

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