New law a win for men or a win for the legal system

5:06 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The movie War of the Roses is art imitating life; divorces often end in an ugly and expensive battle. A bone of contention has been permanent alimony, now that is changing in Florida.

"It is really a pendulum thing," said Attorney Kenny Leigh. 

Kenny Leigh and Associates boast of being a law firm for men.

"People think I hate women," said Leigh, "that is not the case."

Leigh, a senior partner, said a legislature approved bill eliminating permanent alimony is long overdue.

"I love it, I love it, absolutely it was needed," he said.

Leigh said the current alimony laws are gender neutral but they're not applied in that manner and change was inevitable.

"It came from 15 year marriages, a wife who is in her mid 30's receiving alimony for the rest of her life," said Leigh," longer than the marriage and that has made a groundswell of anger among men."

The bill will also change the guidelines when it comes to visitations of a child.

"The current guidelines that many of these county use bring a father down to 25% of the time with their children," said Leigh," that is crazy!"

Jamie Kopp is a divorce counselor who has seen both sides of the issue.

"More visitation is always good if it is a healthy parent," she said,"if there is unhealthy issue that will be my concern as a therapist."

As for the alimony issue, she feels the changes will help balance the scales of justice.

"Especially if the woman is going to move on and into another relationship," she said.

But Kopp has her reservations.

"I can see it being detrimental for the woman if she's not able to support these children long term," said Kopp," I would like to see them weight it case by case."

Supporters said the guidelines will accomplish that.

Alan Frisher of Family law reform, a non-profit organization, called the law pro family and said it would help future generations.

If the governor signs the bill the law will go into effect July 1. 

 

First Coast News

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