Awarding alimony requires fact-specific analysis. Failure to follow the Florida Statutes regarding what should be considered in awarding alimony can make an order awarding alimony susceptible to appeal. Such was the situation in the appellate case Jimenez v. Jimenez, 211 So.3d 76 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).
At trial, the wife was awarded permanent alimony of $500 per month despite evidence that she was a certified nurse who previously quit her job. The trial court further ordered that alimony would automatically increase to $1,200 per month once the parties' child graduated from high school. The husband was required to maintain life insurance to support the alimony award under the court’s reasoning that he already had two life insurance policies in place (the evidence showed he had only one policy).
The appellate court ruled the trial court made an error when it ordered permanent alimony without considering the factors stated in the Florida Statutes. Particularly, the court took issue with the fact that the trial court did not consider the wife’s certifications and employability.
Moreover, the appellate court determined it was error to prospectively increase the alimony once the parties’ child graduated from high school without specifying the special circumstances that would justify such an award.
Finally, the court overturned the requirement for the husband to maintain a life insurance policy to secure the alimony. Without a finding as to the necessity of the insurance and the husband’s ability to afford it, the court could not require him to maintain it.
Assessing your chances of receiving or paying alimony starts with a Miami divorce lawyer. Through a consultation, you can learn how much alimony may be paid and for how long.