Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.

June 2012 Archives

Enforcement of contractual Obligation to Pay College Expenses in Florida

Enforcement of contractual Obligation to Pay College Expenses in Florida

Contempt is not available to enforce an obligation to pay college expenses. "Where a party is obligated to pay his adult child's college expenses pursuant to a marital settlement agreement, the obligation "is not child support, but rather a contractual obligation arising from the marital settlement agreement" Sutton v. Sutton, 701 So. 2d 370, 372 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) (emphasis added). Thus, contempt is not available to enforce the parties' contractual obligation to pay their adult son's college expenses. Nicoletti v. Nicoletti, 901 So. 2d 290, 292 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005)" Riera v. Riera 

Life Insurance in Florida | Lane And Associates

Child Support - Life Insurance in Florida

A court cannot order a party to maintain life insurance without a request from one of the parties. "It is true that section 61.13(1)(c),Florida Statutes (2010), provides that the court may order a party to maintain life insurance to protect an award of child support. But this court has held that a trial court does not have the authority to require a party to obtain life insurance in order to secure child support payments where such relief was not sought or litigated. See Williamitis v. Williamitis, 741 So. 2d 1176, 1177 (Fla. 2d DCA1999); cf. Broome v. Broome, 821So.2d406, 408 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) (reversing requirement that Former Husband obtain life insurance to secure alimony because Former Wife did not request such relief)." Eisele v. Eisele 

Child Custody & Visitation in Palm Beach County, Florida

Child Custody & Visitation - Delegation of Decision Making Authority in Florida

A court cannot delegate parental decision making authority to a third party. "In the event of a deadlock between the parents regarding these issues, the dispute must be presented to the trial court for resolution in accordance with the child's best interests. Gerencser v. Mills, 4 So. 3d 22, 23 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009); Sotnick v. Sotnick, 650 So. 2d 157, 160(Fla. 3d DCA 1995); Tamari v. Turko-Tamari, 599 So. 2d 680, 681 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992). It is error for the trial court to delegate the ultimate decision as to visitation and other issues to a third party. Lovell v. Lovell, 14 So. 3d 1111, 1114 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009). Here, the provisions improperly allow former husband's parents to resolve a dispute between the parties." Schwieterman v. Schwieterman 

Alimony in Palm Beach County, Florida

Alimony - Permanent Alimony in Florida

The presumption in favor of permanent alimony for a long-term marriage can be rebutted by the lack of need or the inability to pay. "We acknowledge the presumption in favor of awarding alimony after a long-term marriage. See § 61.08(4), Fla. Stat. (2010) (classifying as long-term a marriage of seventeen years or more and codifying a rebuttable presumption in favor of alimony). But the starting point for every alimony determination is need and ability to pay. See § 61.08(2) ("In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance."); see also Austin v. Austin, 12 So. 3d 314, 317 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). Here, the trial court found that Mr. Payne failed to show a need for alimony over and above his own earning capacity." Payne v. Payne 

Alimony in Palm Beach County, Florida

Alimony - Imputation of Income in Florida A spouse claiming income should be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed spouse must show that the unemployed or underemployed spouse is employable and that jobs are available. In order to determine the amount of income to impute, the Court must consider the spouses' recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings in community for the class of jobs available. "In Durand v. Durand, 16 So.3d 982, 985 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009), the Fourth District explained that the 'spouse claiming income should be imputed to the unemployed or underemployed spouse bears the burden of showing both employability and that jobs are available.' In determining the amount of the income to impute, 'the court must consider the spouse's recent work history, his or her occupational qualifications, and the prevailing earnings in the community for that class of available jobs." Andrews v. Andrews.

Alimony In Palm Beach County, Florida

Alimony - Voluntary Payments on Behalf of Children in Florida

Courts ruled that voluntary payments on behalf of children in Florida may not be utilized in calculating amount of the alimony award. "As observed in McLean v. McLean, 652 So. 2d 1178, 1181 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995), absent a contractual agreement between the parties, courts are not authorized to consider 'voluntary payments' to adult children in calculating amounts available to pay support in dissolution proceedings." Quinones v. Quinones. Visit our articles  page for more articles and rulings on Alimony in Florida. 

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