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Men’s Equality in Family Court to Wait Another Year

FLORIDA – Ask anyone who has experienced a divorce or child custody battle within Florida’s Family Court system and at least one side will tell you that they got a raw deal. For years, Fathers Rights Activists have fought for the courts to treat men as equals when it comes to time sharing with children. But despite overwhelming progress with women and LGBT rights, men say the pendulum has swung too far, and now they’re being left in the dark ages of equality.

Alimony is another area of heated debate in family courts and in recent months both issues reached Lawmakers in Tallahassee for proposed reform.

Last September, Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) filed Senate Bill 250 which contained language that would direct judges to use guidelines based on the duration of a marriage and income, when calculating alimony. If the measure were to pass it would essentially put an end to permanent and bridge-the-gap alimony.

Lee later amended the Bill to include language that would create a presumption 50/50 time sharing by both parents, believing that it is in the best interest of the children.

While Senator Lee’s Bill began jumping Committee hoops, a House Bill sponsored by Lakeland Republican Representative Colleen Burton opened the door for both issues to be addressed together.

HB 455 echoed Senator Lee’s proposal to bring timeshare equality into family court and put an end to the presumption that mothers should always have majority timeshare from the onset of a custody battle.

Unfortunately, for those who supported the radical change, on March 15th Governor Rick Scott vetoed the combined proposal, HB 668, putting an end to the debate for another year.

Attorney Howard Iken, a long-time legal contributor for RNRF, posted a list of opponents and supporters to the Bill. Rep. Colleen Burton (R), Rep. George Moraitis (R), Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (R), and Democrat Senator Kelli Stargel all supported reform. On the flip side, Democratic Representatives Lori Berman, Cynthia Stafford, Dwight Dudley, along with Democratic Senators Darren Soto, Arthenia Joyner, and Gwen Marogolis all opposed the move for equality.

We spoke to Representative Blaise Ingoglia regarding the failed measure who said he supported Scott’s Veto. Ingoglia says “I originally voted yes on the alimony reform Bill but when it was amended to include the timesharing premise and sent back over to the house, I voted against it.” When asked why he opposed the timesharing element, Ingoglia said “I do not think it was in the best of the children and I believe it would lead to more litigation in the courts and rip families apart.”

Although this was a major blow to the father’s rights movement, supporters vow to return to Tallahassee again next year to continue their fight.

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Rick SCoot

Ingoglciadfadf Howard Iken

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  • The gov’s like Barbee in that no law for us that they made is ever going to affect them or their families.

    Wednesday, 20 April 2016, 8:35 am
  • Yea dont have kids, never reproduce because there might be a broken home. Lets just have the eldey over 50 run everything until they die off or retirer. Children are our future and parents should raise the kids together. But if parent are better apart let the share costody 50/50 so we can raise well balanced loving children because mom n dad stopped loving eachother. Does not mean they dont love the kids with all there heart. VOTE EQIALITY

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 11:05 pm
  • Dont have kids! Broken families usually lead to broken kids!

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 10:06 pm
  • There cannot be equal rights until alimony is abolished

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 4:16 pm
  • I think it’s a joke how the system works against common sense it doesn’t surprise me in the least to read about how these women get alimony for choosing to do nothing but sit on her ads and have husband/ father pay for everything actually support her lazy ass. Women wanted to be treated equal so on the tail of that they need to abolish alimony all together. Why should they be financially supported or have not or don’t want to adjust her cola(cost of living adjustment) the kids are more important than these wannabes entitled bitches. Child support is the most important factor for maintaining the needs of children on a daily basis. Alimony c’mon be serious she don’t need it cause the bottom line is get off your lazy ass and get a job. Half the kids don’t even get their needs met anyway from a good man that pays his child support because the mother in most cases spend it on herself. Sad that people can be so selfish and money hungry. You women out there remember one thing your ex owes you nothing . He owes his kids not you.!! Hey remember this as well just because you chose to be a stay at home mom and housewife that doesn’t or should obligate any man to pay you alimony because you chose YOUR path. Bottom line is stop blaming and shaming the guys for such a warped sense of entitlement.

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 1:36 pm
  • I think a protest should happen all fathers who pay there support and are there for there kids should have shared custody that bill wouldn’t do as much damage to families the way it stands now is what’s doing it. I raised 3 kids alone but always allowed the father his rights to be in his child’s life kids need both parents not just support if dad is willing to work his ass off support his child then so should the mother. As far as dead beat dads they should loose there rights you bring a child into this world expected or not you do right by that child plan and simple. Give the right to 50/50 to the ones who deserve it children need stability not broken homes

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 12:35 pm
  • I think this an out rage against father equality rights! It totally in the best intrest of the child to do time share 50/50 custody. Some Mothers only want the children as leverage, a way to get money, foof stamps n most of to hurt n get even with the father any father who offers to pay support and still want his child obviously loves that child very much and children can be just as close to farhers n want to be with him. Srarting at a very young age age a child can exspress who they want to be with . If a mother has always shared custody on a verbal agreement then after the father remarries she takes him to court n wants sole or primary custody is wrong. She is doing this to hurt the father in return hurts the child. Ofcourse factors must be taken into Play and investigated. It is my opinion from much experience a father that wants time share 50/50 deserves it because he is trying to be the best father possible and every child deserves to no both parent equally. Vote equality in Florida 2017. I am a mother

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 2:14 am
  • When I got divorced back in 2004. Having 3 kids I got custody rights of my 3 kids. As it needed to be but he had shared custody. 16 yrs I’ve had all 3 kids and he knows how to play the child support system the kids don’t know him well at all they call him by his first name and not dad. He came in and out of their life like they were nothing. Meaning months and yrs not hearing from him. In 16 yrs he sat in jail for 30 days. Only ordered to pay $500 a mth that included back support as well. I wanted nothing but him in their life and bc I tried and let him back in now they are teenagers 2 girls who are so hurt want something they can never have bc he won’t grow up. Had 2 more kids did the same. Now married and he doesn’t care if she gets pregnant bc he missed out on all 5 of his kids 1st everything’s they began for him to change. But it’s always come and go and he thinks his support goes to God knows what. For me everything is for the kids. As now last 6 yrs due to a bad car accident and failed back surgery and many physical issues and diagnoses I support my kids and self always have on my own. One is special needs my youngest and my oldest medical issues as well. Both girls many surgeries and he would be less than 10 mins away and never showed up to a single appt or surgery. I was young and dumb. But never thought he would turn to be an addict and stay that way. He has been clean 5 yrs now and still. Nothing. The good Dads have all rights to their kids and should get to see their kids as much as they can. It’s sad the good Dads out their may get laid off work and didn’t pay child support a few times bc of being laid off or losing work and they throw them behind bars. Deadbeats walk free. I will never understand. It makes me smile so big when I see Dads spend time with their kids. I grew up without my father my kids grew up without theirs and I did all I could. I’d rather him be a dad then any amount of money. I wish women who kept those Dads away would understand that in the end the kids will be hurt for the actions. Bc they do grow up. They are smart kids. They will know better before you think they know better. If mom’s keep kids away from their Dads and they are good Dads then it will bite them big in the ass when they are older. The state needs to go after the Deadbeats and demand them classes and jail with many classes in their. Put them on a work program make them pay and teach them how to be a dad. I’d like to know the numbers bc it’s a high amount for deadbeat Dads that give these good law abiding citizens father’s daddy’s a bad name. For what the bad ones do to the system. And why does anyone have to pay alimony? I’ve never agreed to that. I’ve always worked since I was 14 until 5-6 yrs ago after 5 surgeries and disabled and now I try to help at horse rescues and teach my kids work with my special needs son and make sure they do good in school and will be going to college. Life is to short kids need their fathers around big time. Stepping down from the soap box.

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 2:07 am
  • For once, Gov. Scott did the right thing. The whole premise of this article is just incorrect in that somehow LGBT and womens’ rights have somehow swung a pendulum away from men is silly. Historically, in this country, judges have always preferred the mother. Unless the mother was totally unfit, the father never stood a chance for anything but visitation rights. After all, that was the religious influence of the mother/father woman/man role that was so prevalent.

    Over the past few decades, family law has evolved and now we have joint custody and other options. Granted, there is still a bias towards the mother, but every family is different and to impose a legislated one-size-fits-all approach on judges simply makes no sense.

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 12:47 am
  • another issue is over nights equal parental custody. If you pay all the bills every single one and have proof but you work an over night job. You are considered the non custodial parent. You can get the child ready take him or her to school, even read them a good night story and pay every single cost food shelter clothing etc. and if you work over night and the child sleeps at the mothers/grandmas/aunts etc. you are considered a dead beat and owe child support generally 60 percent of your income or risk license suspension, jail time, and garnished income taxes etc. The system is broken and has been for many years. You ever want to see the nonsense that happens, go spend a day in family court. Dont forget the state also takes their costs and fees out every time a payment is issued. Every one wants a little slice of the pie. Ive seen paper work lost and or mixed up. People get jailed for a clerical error. No apology either. It happens often. Be civil, work things out, at last resort people should go do a mediation but when the state and county get involved it can be a massive disaster. I have 2 friends that are counsel and their practice is family law. Ive heard the stories and have seen the cases. The real victim I think in these ends up being the children.

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 12:17 am
  • Fathers should have more rights. They love taking that money and mama loves sitting her butt home living on it! Tired of men working their butt off to support moms not their children. The crappy thing is dad pays the taxes on that money and baby mama gets it for free. Too many money grubbing moms!!!!Get a freaking job!

    Monday, 18 April 2016, 11:44 pm

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