Supreme Court Denies Florida’s Request to Delay Gay Marriage

On Friday, January 2, 2015, the US Supreme Court on declined a request from Florida officials to postpone the date when same-sex marriages can begin in the state.


As reported by NBC News, in August, a federal judge declared the state’s ban unconstitutional, but that order was put on hold until Jan. 5. The state asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay the date, and when it refused, the state went to the Supreme Court.

Friday, without comment, the justices declined to grant the delay. Justice Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia said they would have granted it. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she respects the court’s decision.

“Regardless of the ruling it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage,” Bondi said in a statement. “Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on January 5.”

As a result, same sex marriage and divorce is now legal in the State of Florida. Next month, the court is expected to review appeals of recent same-sex marriage rulings. If the justices act in time, the issue could be heard during the current court term.

Reported by Pete Williams of NBC News

Florida Alimony

Florida Alimony

Florida Alimony

Family law involves several different areas. One area of family law is dissolution of marriage. When handling dissolution cases, client’s often ask whether alimony is available in Florida. Often one of the parties in a dissolution matter believe they have a need for financial assistance from the other party. That financial assistance is called alimony.  Florida law allows several different types of alimony. The Court can award temporary alimony until the final divorce hearing is held. At the final hearing the Court may order a final alimony amount. Several factors are considered when the Court is asked to order alimony.  The length of the marriage is a major consideration for Florida alimony. The length of the marriage is general put into one of three different classifications. A short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years. a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years, but less than 17 years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. To obtain Florida alimony, there has must be a need for assistance on the part of the requesting party and an ability to pay alimony by the other party.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is generally only ordered for long-duration marriages, as long as the legal criteria are met. It is also available for moderate duration marriages if the Court deems it is appropriate based on clear and convincing evidence in consideration of the legal factors It may also be allowed for short duration marriage in exceptional circumstances. If the Court awards permanent alimony, it must make a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable. Permanent alimony may be modified based upon a substantial change of circumstances.

Bridge the Gap Alimony

Bridge the gap alimony is a short term need not to exceed two years. It is for short or moderate duration marriage, or long-duration marriage, if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis. Bridge the gap alimony is not modifiable as to amount or duration.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative Alimony can be modified upon a substantial change of circumstances pursuant to Florida Statute, or upon non compliance with the rehabilitative plan, or completion of the plan.

Collection of Alimony

Florida alimony can be withheld from a paycheck. A party can also be ordered to pay the money to Support Enforcement who will distribute it to the other party.  Failure to pay alimony can result in the suspension of driving privileges. However, the court may allow a work permit. If a party is unemployed or underemployed and fails to pay court ordered support, the judge can order the party to seek employment and enter a job training or work program.

Termination of Alimony

Generally, alimony will terminate when the recipient re-marries. A court may also reduce or terminate alimony when the recipient is residing with someone in a “supportive” relationship. There are several criteria which the court will consider in deciding whether a “supportive” relationship exists, such as whether the couple hold themselves out as husband and wife, and the nature of their financial dealings. Durational alimony terminates upon death of either party, the re-marriage of obligee, or substantial change of circumstances pursuant to Florida Statute. Bridge the gap alimony terminates upon death of either party or re-marriage of the obligee. Rehabilitative alimony terminates upon substantial change of circumstances pursuant to Florida Statute or upon completion of the plan.

If you have questions about alimony please contact me.

Scott, Chris slug it out in final debate


That’s one take-away from the latest Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday.

The poll found both candidates knotted in a dead heat with 42 percent support apiece. Scott, the Republican, captured 46 percent of men surveyed compared to 38 percent for Crist. Flip the gender, and Crist carries 45 percent of women voters to Scott’s 39 percent. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wylle carried 7 percent of the vote.

Another take-away: the survey found the Crist held a slight edge among those surveyed who had already voted. If accurate, that would contrast with the large edge Republicans currently hold in absentee ballots cast — emphasis on the “if accurate” part.

The window when the survey was being conducted also overlaps with with the first two televised debates, suggesting the “Fangate” episode last week failed to change the dynamics.

“For all the money spent on this race, it now appears the winner will be the one whose organization excels at the blocking and tackling of politics – getting their voters to the polls,” said Quinnipiac assistant polling director Peter Brown.

The poll also found voters still viewing both Crist and Scott negatively. Only 42 percent of those surveyed viewed Crist positively, while 40 percent viewed Scott positively.

The school surveyed 984 likely voters from Oct. 14-20, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

Source. Orlando Sentinel