Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) vetoed Senate Bill 1796, also known as the Florida Family Law Reform Bill or the “Alimony Bill.” According to Florida Family Fairness, a self-described alimony reform organization, the bill was designed to “protect children by allowing divorce proceedings to begin with a presumption of equal time sharing between the parents, which ultimately takes away divorce lawyers’ ability to leverage children as bargaining chips. This helps mothers and fathers, who are going through an already very stressful situation, to fairly resolve timesharing and financial matters without hurting the children.”
Florida Family Fairness shared their response to the Governor’s veto Friday afternoon.
“We are incredibly disappointed by the veto of this much needed bill. Today, Gov. DeSantis chose divorce lawyers over Florida’s families and parents who love their children and who want to be a part of their lives.” Said Marc Johnson, Chairman of Florida Family Fairness.
So why exactly did the Governor veto the bill? The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar released a statement today explaining their approval of the veto, despite advocating for “legislative proposals that have a positive, productive impact on couples and families that are impacted by divorce.”
“From the very beginning of the 2022 Legislative Session, we voiced concerns over the retroactive impact of Senate Bill 1796. If signed into law, this legislation would have upended thousands upon thousands of settlements, backlogging the courts and throwing many Floridians’ lives into turmoil.” The statement then goes on to thank DeSantis for vetoing the bill.
The decision from DeSantis might come as a shock to Floridians as he has been extremely pro-family and hardline Conservative since taking office in 2019.
On April 11th, Governor DeSantis signed HB 7065 – also known as the “Fatherhood Bill” – which included approximately $70 million in funding to promote involved fatherhood in the Sunshine State. The funding is allotted to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Governor DeSantis has yet to announce his reasoning for the veto.