New Bill Aims to Streamline Divorce Proceedings Across Florida

New Bill Aims to Streamline Divorce Proceedings Across Florida

A top-priority measure from the Family Law Section designed to bring more uniformity to divorce proceedings is moving forward in the Senate.

The Senate Rules Committee unanimously approved SB 534, introduced by Republican Sen. Erin Grall, a family law attorney from Vero Beach.

“Senate Bill 534 acknowledges the complexities in divorce proceedings and addresses conflicting case law about the distribution of assets and liabilities,”

Grall explained during her brief presentation to the committee.

The Rules Committee had over 25 bills to review in less than two hours, and Grall’s presentation on SB 534 lasted under three minutes, with no questions from the committee members.

Key aspects of the bill include:

  • Requiring that any gift of real property between spouses must be in writing.
  • Establishing guidelines for courts to consider when determining the value of a “closely held business” in divorce proceedings.
  • Defining “extraordinary circumstances” for courts to consider when deciding on an interim partial distribution of assets during a dissolution action.
  • Veteran family law attorney Shannon L. Novey attended the committee meeting to show support from the Family Law Section.

SB 534 had previously passed the Judiciary Committee with a 10-0 vote on January 16, and the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee unanimously the following week.

A companion bill, HB 521, introduced by Republican Rep. Traci Koster, a family law attorney from Tampa, is currently on second reading in the House calendar after passing through three committees without any opposition.