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Alimony

Modification: Maximizing retroactive Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When you can no longer afford your alimony obligation, or on the other side if you need more alimony than was originally awarded due to a change in circumstances, you may have the option of filing a petition for modification of alimony in Florida. Modification can be retroactive to the date you filed your petition, meaning it will go into effect as of the date you filed your petition even if an order on the petition is entered several months later.

Florida alimony: In-kind versus direct payments and their affect on child support

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

How does alimony affect a Florida child support calculation and vice versa? Alimony is considered income to the spouse receiving it and is considered a deduction from the income of the spouse paying it. There are direct alimony payments (that is, payments made directly to the recipient) and there are in-kind payments (payments made on behalf of the recipient such as a phone bill or a mortgage payment). Are both of these types of payments deductible from the payor’s income when calculating child support?

Required language in a Florida divorce decree for permanent alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When is permanent alimony ordered in Florida? Under current statutory law, the court must make a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Without this finding in the final judgment, the alimony award is subject to reversal on appeal. In one recent appellate case, although the former wife successful proved on the trial level that the former husband may have been hiding income, her award of permanent alimony was reversed in part because of the lack of the required finding in the final judgment.

Use of a vocational expert in a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

A spouse who is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed may have income imputed to him or her for purposes of calculating alimony in Florida. The spouse who is asking the court to impute income to the other spouse has the burden of proving that the non-working spouse could be working or earning more money. The specific findings which must be made in these cases in explored in the recent appellate case Masino v. Masino, 1D18-450 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).

Modification of Florida alimony: foreseeable versus contemplated

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Modification of Florida alimony based on retirement has received significant attention this year in the appellate courts. We previously discussed the implications of an alimony recipient reaching retirement age, and today, we review the consequences of the alimony payor reaching retirement age in the case Bauchman v. Bauchman, 4D17-1471 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).

Preserve an appeal in modification of Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Miami Alimony

Finding oneself on the receiving end of a motion for contempt can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when punishment for contempt can range from fines to incarceration. We review a man's decision to appeal a finding of contempt against him based on his failure to pay alimony while he was at the same time trying to modify his obligation. 

Recent case clarifies the standard for modification of alimony in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Recently, a Florida appellate court issued an opinion which will no doubt have an impact on modifying alimony in Florida. The case Gelber v. Brydger, 4D17-295 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) explored the issue of what can be considered an unanticipated change in circumstances in modifying alimony. 

How adultery affects a Florida alimony obligation

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

When a spouse commits adultery, how does that affect Florida alimony? Generally, in order for a court to take adultery into consideration in a Florida divorce case, there has to be some financial connection to the marriage. For example, if a spouse spent money on furthering an affair, the other spouse may be entitled to a credit for the money spent. Alimony, however, is affected by an extramarital affair in a different way. 

Modification of Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

Can a court reduce a Florida alimony obligation when the alimony recipient voluntarily reduces his or her expenses? This question was asked in the case Regan v. Regan, 217 So.3d 91 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) where the court considered an appeal of a final judgment that granted the former husband's request to modify alimony.

Examining ALL sources of income in determining Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

Before a Miami divorce court can determine whether alimony is warranted in a Florida divorce case, the court must set aside to each spouse his/her share of the marital estate and his/her separate assets and liabilities. After this, the court can determine the need of the spouse asking for the alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay it since some assets may generate income that can cut down on a spouse's need for alimony. 

Awarding Florida alimony based on anticipated expenses

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

Temporary alimony can be awarded while a Florida dissolution of marriage case is pending. The same analysis applies to temporary alimony awards as in the case of alimony awarded in a final judgment - the court must find there is a need for support and that the other spouse has the ability to pay it. Do anticipated expenses count as "need" for the spouse asking for expenses? We find out in the appellate case Ard v. Ard, 208 So.3d 1288 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017). 

Legal or not?: Automatic future increase of Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

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).

Securing Florida alimony with life insurance

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

Getting alimony awarded in a Miami divorce is a victory that may be for naught if no life insurance secures the award.  You can ask the court to have the spouse ordered to pay alimony obtain a life insurance policy, but there are strict guidelines that must be followed in order for this request to be enforceable.

The four types of alimony awarded in a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

There are currently four types of alimony awarded in a Florida divorce: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational and permanent. The type of alimony awarded is based in part on the length of the marriage; a marriage is considered short-term if it’s less than 7 years, moderate if between 7 and 17 years and long-term if 17 years or greater. Each type of alimony carries certain requirements to be awarded and to be given consideration in a Florida divorce.