In calculating alimony, are business expenses deducted from a party’s monthly income? This question was answered by the Florida Court of Appeal in the recent case of Moore v. Moore. For purposes of awarding alimony, in calculating a party’s monthly income, business expenses must be deducted from the party’s gross income. In this case, the husband appealed a final judgment in a dissolution matter. The husband argued on appeal that the lower court erred in determining his monthly income and the amount of alimony he was required to pay to his wife. The wife filed a cross-appeal, arguing that the lower court erred in failing to order her husband to maintain a life insurance policy and in determining the amount of child support. The Court of Appeal decided that the lower court abused its discretion in determining the husband’s monthly income because the trial court failed to consider his business expenses, and they reversed the final judgment involving alimony and child support. The Court of Appeal looked to section 61.046(8), Florida Statutes (2010), which defines “income” as any form of payment to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to: wages, salary, commissions and bonuses, compensation as an independent contractor, worker’s compensation, disability benefits, annuity and retirement benefits, pensions, dividends, interest, royalties, trusts, and any other payments, made by any person, private entity, federal or state government, or any unit of local government.”
For purposes of calculating child support section 61.30(2)(a), defines “gross income” to include “[b]usiness income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. ‘Business income’ means gross receipts minus ordinary and alimony necessary expenses required to produce income.” In calculating a party’s monthly income, business expenses are deducted from the payor’s gross income. For example in calculating expenses, the trial court must consider the payor’s expenses for union dues, uniforms, and unreimbursed travel expenses.
To speak with an alimony attorney in Boynton Beach, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.