Marriage Dissolution Provisions and Privacy.

Author:Martyak, Steve
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor
 
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Attorney Ronald Kauffman offered a splendid review of the Florida constitutional right to privacy (art.1 [section]23) role in one aspect of F.S. Ch. 61, (dissolution of marriage), i.e., parental rights and grandparent visitation ("Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken: An Update on Grandparent Visitation," Jan. 2018). He recited Florida courts' efforts to parse, slice, dice, dissect, cut, chop, wedge words, and concepts to hammer the square peg of part of Ch. 61 into the round hole of the right to privacy. He then points out the now obvious inevitability that federal law trumps state public policy.

The alimony provision (61.08) of the dissolution of marriage chapter has endured similar judicial verbal legerdemain attempts to make it work. The judiciary should now recognize the obvious inevitability that the state constitution right to privacy trumps the alimony statute.

Alimony is a statutory grant, it is not common law. Because 61.08 is part of Ch. 61 that regulates marriage, divorce, separation, and personal decisions relating to marriage, to survive it must pass through the right to privacy filter. It can't. Federal and other state caselaw lay the foundation that state and federal constitutional amendment rights to privacy must trump the alimony statute.

Marriage is a recognized fundamental privacy-protected zone. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

Divorce and separation are recognized fundamental privacy-protected zones.

"Given the 'associational interests that surround the establishment and dissolution of [the marital] relationship,' such 'adjustments' as divorce and separation are naturally included within the umbrella of protection accorded to the right of privacy." Little John v. Rose, 768 F.2d 765, 768 (6th Cir. 1985).

Personal decisions...

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