Alimony in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

In awarding alimony, the trial court must make factual findings concerning all ten of the statutory alimony factors in order to avoid reversible error. In Patino v. Patino, the Fourth District Court of Appeal recently stated: “We again remind trial judges of the importance of making explicit findings as to all statutorily mandated factors for the determination of alimony in final judgments, as well as establishing a value (even if zero or de minimus) for all marital assets and liabilities when devising an equitable distribution scheme. 

Because the trial court failed to do so in this case, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. We acknowledge the trial court entered a final judgment with findings of fact and conclusions of law, but as we discuss below, we find the final judgment deficient.

Section 61.08(2), Florida Statutes (2010), mandates that the trial court evaluate ‘any relevant economic factors, including standard of living during the marriage, age, earning ability, value of each party’s estate and contribution to the marriage.’ Ryan v. Ryan, 927 So. 2d 109,112 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). The statute provides a specific, non-exhaustive list of factors. Lule v. Lule, 60 So. 3d 567, 569 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). In conducting the required evaluation, the trial court must make findings of fact regarding each listed factor. Ryan, 927 So. 2d at 112; Ondrejack v. Ondrejack, 839 So. 2d 867, 870 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003) (‘A failure to consider all of the mandated factors is reversible error.’) (citation omitted); Koski v. Koski, 98 So. 3d 93,96 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) (reversing because appellate court could not determine if trial court considered all applicable section 61.08(2) factors).

Here, the trial court explained in the final judgment that it considered six of the ten factors, but no mention was made of the other four factors. Further, the order completely fails to make any factual findings regarding the missing four factors; as a result, the order is insufficient to support an award of alimony. Therefore, we reverse so that the trial court may have an opportunity to make factual findings in accordance with section 61.08(2). Segall v. Segall, 708 So. 2d 983, 986-87 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998) (‘Although the court’s final judgment tracked the language of section 61.08(2) in discussing the factors it considered, it failed to make findings of fact relative to those factors.’).” 

To speak with a divorce attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.