Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

The year in appellate cases started off strong with the case Julia v. Julia, 4D17-2261 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019) in which the former husband appealed an array of issues in his Florida divorce ranging from equitable distribution to child support to alimony. Ultimately, the former husband prevailed on appeal on the issues raised.

First as to alimony, the former husband took issue with the fact that the trial court had not made a required finding that no form of alimony other than permanent alimony was fair and reasonable under the circumstances. The appellate court held, “That finding might be implicit in the trial court's conclusion; nevertheless, the statute requires the finding to be made. We therefore reverse and remand the case for this finding, which the trial court will no doubt make." The court also reversed the trial court’s decision to base the former husband’s alimony obligation on his gross, rather than his net, income as required by law.

Moving on to child support, the former husband appealed the trial court’s decision to allocate uncovered medical expenses disproportionately and to disregard mortgage payments he made while the case was pending when the court calculated retroactive child support. The former husband prevailed on appeal on these issues, with the appellate court holding “Here, the trial court's final dissolution judgment originally allocated collateral child support expenses 80% to the former husband and 20% to the former wife. Post-judgment, however, the trial court entered a child support order allocating regular child support expenses 59.84% to the former husband and 40.16% to the former wife, but without revisiting the previous collateral child support allocation. The trial court did not provide a "logically established rationale" for the disparity in the allocations.” The court also ruled it was error not to credit the former husband for the mortgage payments toward the retroactive support.

Last, as to equitable distribution, the former husband argued it was error to award the former wife part of his pension which accrued before the parties’ second marriage to each other. The appellate court agreed with the former husband, holding, “Here, it is undisputed that the former husband earned pension benefits before the parties' second marriage to each other. Thus, the trial court erred when it awarded the former wife a one-half interest in the former husband's pension without excluding the portion of the pension which accrued before the parties' second marriage to each other.”

The former husband’s appeal of these matters no doubt saved him from paying significant amounts to his former wife which were unwarranted. If you need assistance with your Miami divorce case, contact a Miami family law attorney for a consultation.