Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bill Filed Making It Easier For Victims Moving To Florida With Abusive Spouse To Divorce

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Credit MGN Online
The Florida Channel

A Florida lawmaker has filed a measure aimed at making it easier for a person to end their marriage if they’re in an abusive relationship.

If a couple moves to Florida, they can’t file for divorce until they’ve lived in the state for six months. So, Rep. Halsey Beshears’ (R-Monticello) bill makes an exception for those in an emotionally or physically abusive marriage. Beshears says he filed the measure because he’s heard from several women who he says are essentially held hostage by existing law.

“What really struck a chord with me is I have daughters,” said Beshears. “Imagine if my daughters moved away, moved to another state, and this law was there in place and they were stuck there, no money, nothing, and maybe I’m not alive, maybe they don’t have anything left, and they’re stuck there in an abusive relationship without being able to get divorced, without being able to leave, because they have kids in the relationship. And, the partner says, ‘hey, well, guess what? I’m not going to divorce you because we haven’t been here. You’re stuck!’ You’re stuck in an abusive relationship, can’t get out, and they may starve.”

Beshears says he’s working on getting a Senate sponsor.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

Copyright 2020 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.