Divorced dads disagree with state family court system

By Matt Galka, Reporter, Capitol News Service
Published On: Jun 13 2014 05:02:04 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Father’s Day is this Sunday, but a divorced Florida dad is crying foul over the state’s family court system.

Ray Granstrom said he’s not a deadbeat. But the court order after his divorce only allows him to see his kids every other weekend. 

A bill that would have overhauled divorce court was vetoed last year.

“Only parents know what’s in their children’s best interest," said Granstrom. "Not attorneys, not gavels and certainly not biased judges who abuse their power.” 

Granstrom joined the “Fatherless Day” movement -- a national campaign to try and get equal time with kids for divorcees. Granstrom said he’s also drowning in alimony payments.

“I’ve been attacked by the child support enforcement agency over an order that is void on its face, because it orders me to pay more than what I’ve been earning,” he said.

The divorced dad said the governor and legislature let him down in the past.

“Women’s rights groups lobbied to veto a bill last year that would have ended permanent alimony and they say the bill shouldn’t come back.”

Barbara Devane, with the National Organization for Women, worked tirelessly to get the bill killed in 2013.

“Every divorce is different, every story is different, and we shouldn’t have the legislature coming up with a cookie-cutter bill because one size does not fit,” DeVane said.

The 2013 bill would have been retroactive to people paying permanent alimony, something Gov. Rick Scott said he couldn’t support. The legislation went nowhere in 2014. Devane said Scott didn’t want to risk anything during an election year. 

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