Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach And Wellington, Florida Offices 561-328-1095

December 2015 Archives

Modification of Child Support in Jupiter, Florida

(i) In a modification of child support case, the fact that the former wife's bills are being paid by her new husband may be considered as part of her gross income in calculating child support. In a recent case captioned Thompson v. Malicki the Florida Court of Appeals had before it a case where the former wife sought to relocate the parties' children, modify the parties' custody and visitation schedule with the children, and modify child support. The Former Wife wanted to move the parties' children from Charlotte County to Palm Beach County, Florida so that she and they could live with her new husband. The lower court denied the relocation but permitted a modification of child support.

Modification of Child Custody and Visitation in Jupiter, Florida

In a child custody and visitation matter, absent an emergency, the failure to give notice of a temporary custody hearing is a denial of due process. In a recent case captioned Suleiman v. Suleiman the Florida Court of Appeal had before it a case where the former husband obtained an emergency ex parte order which modified the parties' timesharing schedule. The Court of Appeal reversed because the former wife was denied due process and because the modification of the custody and visitation schedule was inappropriate. A final judgment of dissolution was entered on January 22, 2008. The father was awarded visitation with the children every Wednesday and on alternating weekends. The former wife later remarried and moved to Polk County, Florida, with the children and her new husband. The former wife took the children out of the Orange County schools and enrolled them in schools in Polk County. 

Modification of Alimony in Wellington, Florida

In a modification of alimony case, a parties' retirement does not mandate the termination of alimony payments. Retirement just provides an opportunity to revisit alimony recipient's needs and alimony payor's ability to pay. In a case captioned Purin v. Purin the Florida Court of Appeal had a case before it involving a thirty-year marriage. A thirty-year marriage is considered to be a long term marriage. The trial court awarded durational alimony instead of permanent alimony. The Court of appeal reversed this award. The trial court refused the wife's request for permanent alimony and awarded her durational alimony based on the fact that the husband was going to retire at age sixty-five. The Court of Appeal stated that the starting point in every alimony determination is need and ability to pay. In this case the wife demonstrated her need and the husband's ability to pay. However the trial court refused to award permanent periodic alimony based upon the fact that the husband was going to retire in ten years. The Court of Appeal said that the trial court should not have speculated as to what the parties' needs and ability to pay were going to be in ten years. The Court stated that trial courts are not permitted to consider future events in setting current alimony due to the uncertainty surrounding the future. The appellate court pointed out that a payor's retirement does not require the termination of an award of alimony. A parties' retirement just allows a trial court to look at the parties' then current ability to pay and their needs. 

Alimony - Imputation of Income in Palm Beach County, Florida

In awarding alimony income can be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed spouse under certain circumstances. Florida Statutes § 61.30(2)(b), Florida Statutes, states that monthly income can be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed spouse if that spouse's unemployment or underemployment is voluntary. In a case captioned Dottaviano v. Dottaviano, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated that the trial court is required to utilize a two-step analysis in deciding whether or not to impute income to an underemployed or unemployed spouse. First, the court should determine whether the spouse's termination of employment was voluntary. Second, the trial court should decide whether the former spouse' s subsequent unemployment or under­employment was the result of the former spouse's pursuit of his or her own interests or the result of a less than diligent efforts to find a job that pays income at a level equal to or better than that formerly re­ceived.

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Palm Beach Gardens Office
The Financial Center at the Gardens
3801 PGA Boulevard
Suite 600
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410

Phone: 561-328-1095
Fax: (561) 472-1568
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Wellington Reserve
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Wellington, Florida 33414

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