Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

Florida family courts sometimes make mistakes in their rulings. For that reason, it is important to have a Florida family law attorney at least review a court’s order with you immediately after it is entered, especially if you chose to proceed in your divorce case without an attorney. As seen in Conlin v. Conlin, 212 So.3d 487 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017), two costly mistakes in the trial court’s order negatively affecting the former husband could have gone unchallenged had he not had an attorney helping him. 

At the parties’ divorce trial, a determination was made that the former wife had a need for alimony and the former husband had the ability to pay it. Using the former husband’s gross income, the trial court determined the former husband should pay over $4,000.00 per month in permanent alimony. Additionally, the parties disputed the marital nature of a student loan the husband incurred on behalf of the parties’ daughter, but the trial court failed to characterize the loan and distribute it accordingly. 

On review, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s award of alimony because the former husband’s net income (not gross) was the proper basis for determining his ability to pay alimony. No doubt the former husband would have had a difficult time paying the alimony considering his actual take-home pay. 

As to the student loan, the appellate court found that the trial court’s failure to address it at all was reversible error. Under the Florida Statutes, a Florida divorce court is required to identify marital and non-marital assets and debts and distribute them accordingly.  

Failing to appeal clear errors can result in costly rulings against a party. This is why having a Miami divorce attorney assist you is important in preserving your rights. Schedule a consultation to develop a case strategy that suits your needs.