Why I Support Alimony Reform by Attorney Lori Barkus

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Lori Barkus“Isn’t that bad for business?”

I’ve been asked this question many times by clients and others when discussing the need to create a more structured process to replace current alimony laws. Most wonder why a family law attorney would support something that would result in less business for my firm.

The answer is simple: because I believe it’s the right thing to do. Contrary to stereotypes, most lawyers aren’t chasing money and trying to make as much as they can. Most, I believe, want to advocate for our clients and to make things fair and correct. And,

advocating for your clients includes advocating for laws that serve them and fighting against laws that harm them.

The current alimony laws hurt more people than they help. There is no predictability, no certainty of the outcome and, many times, no way to determine what the outcome will be. Because of this, it is difficult to advise a client about what is fair and reasonable, and even more difficult to settle a case. The result is a long, drawn out process that can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars more than it should.

There are no perfect laws. Past opponents of alimony reform claim that each case is unique and a judge should have absolute discretion to determine alimony. But there is no magic system that can create the exact alimony number that will make a person’s money concerns go away, nor can (or should) anyone guarantee that this payment will last for a lifetime.

The current law practically forces those receiving alimony to spend every dime and save nothing, or face the prospect of having their alimony go away. There’s no saving for a future on either side. If the paying party saves money, then there’s more ability to pay and his/her alimony can be increased. No one has certainty. No one has freedom to move on with their lives. And no one is protected by this system.

A rewrite of Florida’s alimony laws is long overdue. Creating guidelines and standards for alimony will give both sides more predictability and consistency. There will be less litigation, which will protect the parties’ assets. It will also protect their children from the harm caused by the never ending financial war between their parents, which, under the current system, continues long into adulthood, and tears apart families.

Why am I supporting alimony reform? Because it’s the right thing to do.

South Florida family law attorney and mediator Lori Barkus handles matters involving: divorce, custody, child support, paternity, Collaborative Divorce, adoption, parental rights, Labor and Employment litigation and family law and civil mediation.

Lori is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia, in addition to the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and Family Law Mediator, a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Family Lawyers of South Florida.

Disclaimer by Family Law Reform USA:

Each Attorney blog is merely the opinion of that particular Attorney.  The leadership and Board of Directors of Family Law Reform, Inc. do not necessarily advocate, endorse or recommend any Attorney on this Blog.
For information on Alan Frisher and his services as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), please visit www.SageDivorce.com.

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