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Miami spousal support lawyer

Retroactive modification of Florida alimony not mandatory

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When a party seeks to modify his/her alimony obligation or payments, the party can ask the court to retroactively apply any modification so that he or she receives a credit for the alimony amount that should have been paid during the retroactive period. This period is usually limited to the date a party filed a petition for modification. If the court finds alimony should be reduced or increased, it can order that such reduction or increase apply back to the date the petition was filed. If alimony was reduced by $100 per month, for example, and the order was entered 12 months after the petition for modification was filed, the payor might be entitled to a $1,200 credit for over payment of alimony.

Interpreting alimony provisions in a Florida marital settlement agreement

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

There are multiple types of alimony that can be awarded in Florida for a short time, a moderate amount of time or permanently. What type of alimony is awarded in any specific case depends on what the parties agree on, or if the judge will decide alimony, factors such as the length of the marriage, the contributions of both spouses, and primarily the need of the spouse asking for alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay it. When parties agree on alimony that is recorded in a marital settlement agreement, it is important that the intent of the parties with regard to alimony is accurately reflected in the wording used in the agreement.

When permanent alimony is appropriate in a Florida divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When is permanent alimony awarded in a Florida divorce? Per the Florida Statutes, it is awarded in long term marriages (defined as 17 years or longer) when no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable given the circumstances of the parties. In Griffitts v. Griffitts, 5D17-2509 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019), we see a reversal of a trial court’s decision to deny permanent alimony in a long term marriage.

Florida alimony awards cannot exceed the recipient's need

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

It is well-established that in order for a court to award alimony in Florida, it must be shown that there is a need for it and an ability to pay it. This standard applies even to awards of temporary spousal support as we see in the case Erskine v. Erskine, 1D18-1785 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).

Florida alimony arrears, a loan and a settlement agreement, oh my!

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

In what sounds like a law school essay exam fact pattern or even a bar exam essay question, the recently published case Greenshields v. Greenshields, 5D18-400 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018) presents an interesting and somewhat complex history between divorced parties with a dispute revolving around a loan and an alimony obligation.

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. 

Temporary alimony in Florida and a judge's discretion

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

While Florida law states a court has discretion in awarding temporary relief, that discretion can be abused and is subject to review. In De La Piedra v. De La Piedra, 1D17-3203 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the husband appealed an order requiring him to pay temporary alimony, child support and attorneys' fees, and he won. 

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.

Temporary alimony in a Miami divorce

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

During the course of a Miami divorce case, it is possible to seek temporary relief for issues such as alimony, child support and time-sharing. This is because a family law case can take a year or more to get to trial and in the meantime, a party may need financial or other relief that cannot wait that long. If a party seeks temporary alimony and child support, there are certain parameters the court must follow as seen in the case Maerssen v. Gerdts, 213 So.3d 952 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).

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). 

Miami divorce: Awarding the marital home in lieu of alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Divorce

Can a court award exclusive use and possession of the marital home to one spouse and require both spouses to pay for half of the expenses for maintaining the home? Such was the issue brought on appeal by a former wife in the case Morgan v. Morgan, 213 So.3d 378 (Fla. 4th 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).