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Alimony

Florida permanent alimony reversible for lack of statutory findings, even without motion for rehearing

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When a party is unhappy with a Florida divorce court’s ruling, what is the next step? The party may be able to appeal the final judgment, but must be sure to comply with deadlines and procedural requirements. One requirement that is often cited in Florida family law cases is the duty to file a motion for rehearing with the trial court before proceeding with an appeal. The case Engle v. Engle, 2D17-620 (Fla. 2d DCA July 3, 2019) highlights the confusion that this requirement causes among different courts in Florida.

Reduction of Florida alimony payments by 85% appealed in recent family law case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

A Florida family law court’s decision to decrease a former wife’s monthly alimony payments by 85% led her to appeal the decision in Dunn v. Dunn, 5D18-111 (Fla. 5th DCA July 12, 2019). After considering the former wife’s expenditures and inheritance she was set to receive, the trial court believed it was equitable to reduce the payments from $12,000.00 per month to $1,819.19.

Florida alimony modified on technical error in recent case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

A party who can no longer comply with an order to pay alimony in Florida may file a petition for modification or termination of alimony. In filing a petition, a party re-initiates a lawsuit and the steps to initiate a lawsuit must be followed in order to comply with due process requirements in Florida family law cases. The other party must be served with the petition by a process server. Once served, the other party usually has 20 days to respond to the petition or a default judgment may be entered against the party.

Florida permanent alimony determined to be excessive in recent appellate case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When one spouse earns significantly more income than the other spouse, this does not mean that alimony is automatic in Florida. In order to determine if alimony is appropriate in a Florida divorce and what type should be awarded, the court must perform a “need and ability to pay” analysis. Determination of alimony is made on a case-by-case basis with a basic foundation of what needs to be analyzed to arrive at an equitable amount.

Petition to modify Florida alimony denied despite former husband's claim of permanent disability

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When parties enter a marital settlement agreement or a final judgment is entered in a Florida divorce, the court will enforce the express terms of the agreement or order. So it is important that terms in the agreement or order are unambiguous and not open to different interpretations. Otherwise, the parties could find themselves embroiled in expensive and lengthy post-judgment litigation.

Contempt for failure to pay Florida alimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

A former spouse who agreed to pay over $20,000.00 per month in permanent, non-modifiable alimony was found in contempt for his failure to pay this amount for about 9 years straight. He appealed in the case Accardi v. Accardi, 4D18-1669 (Fla. 4th DCA June 12, 2019).

Termination of permanent alimony in Florida upon retirement

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When a party who is ordered to pay alimony retires, he or she may be able to seek a modification or termination of the alimony obligation. This issue was discussed in the case Holder v. Lopez, 1D18-1870 (Fla. 1st DCA June 7, 2019) in which the trial court denied the former husband’s petition to terminate alimony after he retired at age 65.

Florida income deduction order must indicate how arrearage amounts and original obligations are to be treated in relation to the total percentage deducted

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When a party falls behind on Florida support payments, he or she may be held in contempt of court. When this happens, usually the party is ordered to become current on support payments within a certain amount of time. Additionally, an amended income withholding order may be entered which allows for extra amounts to be taken from the obligor’s paycheck to satisfy any arrearage and/or attorneys’ fees amounts. This is what happened in the recent Florida family law case Moore v. Holton, 2D18-2672 (Fla. 2d DCA April 12, 2019).

Age, good health and current income are not enough to rebut permanent alimony presumption in long-term marriage

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

What is enough to overcome a presumption for permanent alimony in a long-term marriage? An analysis of the factors listed in Florida Statute Chp. 61.08 is what the court must consider in determining how much alimony to award and for how long. In the case Gilliand v. Gilliand, 5D17-4100 (Fla. 5th DCA, March 15, 2019), the former wife appealed the trial court’s decision to award her durational alimony rather than permanent alimony based primarily on her age, good health and work history.

Florida alimony: Imputation of income cannot be based on speculative expert testimony

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Imputing income to a party for purposes of calculating support is a process which requires specific proof and findings. In the case Frerking v. Stacy, 5D18-2327 (Fla. 5th DCA March 15, 2019), we review a trial court’s decision to award durational, rather than permanent, alimony in a long-term marriage based in part on speculated employment opportunities for the former wife.

Imputation of income in Florida divorce is a 2-step process

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Imputation of income to a spouse for purposes of determining a Florida alimony and/or child support claim must be supported by competent, substantial evidence. This is illustrated in the recent appellate case Alvarez-Reyes v. Fernandez-Gil, 3D17-2676 (Fla. 3d DCA February 6, 2019).

Florida alimony: Ask and you may receive

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

While it is important to know what you want in your Florida divorce case, it is equally important to know how to ask for it. Your petition for dissolution of marriage in Florida frames the issues in the case and puts the other party on notice regarding what relief you are seeking. Usually, if you do not include something you want in your petition, you cannot get it at trial. The case Lizzmore v. Lizzmore, 1D17-1734 (Fla. 1st DCA, 2019) sheds light on this.

Florida divorce: Ambiguities in marital settlement agreements lead to litigation

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

Time and time again, we see cases in which parties’ marital settlement agreements are not fully clear as to intent. A paragraph about child support, for example, may say something, but when read years later, can cause different interpretations. These different interpretations usually lead to expensive post-judgment litigation as was the case in Quillen v. Quillen, 247 So.3d 40 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).

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.

Standard for determining a request for Florida alimony pending appeal

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When either party appeals a final judgment of divorce, can a party seek temporary alimony while an appeal is pending? If so, what standard should be applied to determine if alimony should be awarded under this circumstance? These questions were answered in the appellate case Reidy v. Reidy, 232 So.3d 1053 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).

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.

Termination of alimony when settlement agreement says payment until death

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When parties agree to alimony terms in Florida, those terms supersede the Florida Statutes as it relates to payment of spousal support. In the case Inman v. Inman, 2D19-482 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), a stipulated divorce decree was originally entered which stated the former husband would pay $800 per month to the former wife until the former wife’s death. The former husband sought termination of his alimony obligation, or in the alternative, modification.

Conflict certified regarding alimony awards in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

What was phrased by the Florida 4th District Court of Appeal as a “a duel between reversible error and preservation” in Fox v. Fox, 4D17-2092 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) is a study in the nuances of Florida family law. This case revolves around a Florida alimony award and a conflict has been certified regarding the case issues, meaning the Florida Supreme Court may need to decide on rules which conflict among two or more Florida appellate districts.