Alimony reform bill again stirs passions on both sides

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A bill in the Florida Legislature that would end permanent alimony is stirring emotional arguments for and against.

Alimony reform advocates have sought the change for years, saying recipients use permanent alimony to extort a lifetime meal ticket even when they could work.

Opponents say that would make it impossible for mothers to leave careers to stay home with their children, for fear of being left destitute after a breakup.

The bill by two Republican women legislators from Polk County seeks a middle ground, sponsors say.

House Bill 943 uses formulas based on the length of the marriage and the income difference of the spouses to set the amount and duration of alimony. It limits alimony to between 25 and 75 percent of the length of the marriage.

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