Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.

June 2017 Archives

Alimony - Palimony, Same-Sex Divorce & Support Agreements

A same-sex divorce case involving alimony, palimony and an oral cohabitation agreement was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal. The case was captioned Armao v. McKenney. During the course of the parties' relationship, the parties entered into an oral cohabitation agreement. The parties agreed that they would live together, work together, take care of each other emotionally and financially, provide for each other, and be a couple. They characterized their relationship as being: "just like a married couple." They combined their assets, investments, income, and inheritances. They participated in a blessing ceremony. They held themselves out as a couple during their 46 year relationship.

Alimony in Jupiter, Florida

In a recently decided alimony case captioned Hua v. Tsung, the husband filed an action for divorce. The parties were married for 17½ years. The Husband and wife were in their early forties. The Husband was the primary breadwinner and wife was a homemaker and stay-at-home mother. The Husband owned several businesses during the marriage. The Husband owned part of a restaurant. The Husband also allegedly owned shares in a company named DSC Holdings Limited. At the time of the divorce, the husband lived with a new girlfriend and their two minor children in Brazil. The Wife lived in Broward County, Florida, and took care of the parties' minor children. During the marriage, the wife and the husband received generous gifts from the husband's parents. The husband's father bought them a home in California. When the parties moved to Florida, the Husband's parents bought them a home in Broward County. The Broward County home was valued between $650,000 to $700,000. The parties also bought a rental property. The parties' comfortable lifestyle was due in large part to the Husband's father. The wife earned no income.

Division of Property and Assets in Wellington, Florida

The division of property and assets in a Florida divorce begins with the division of the parties' assets into two categories, marital assets and liabilities and nonmarital assets and liabilities. Marital assets are those assets accumulated during the marriage by the parties from their work, earnings and services. In determining whether property is a marital asset, the question is not which party holds title to the asset. The trial court divides the marital assets and liabilities between the parties. In a recently decided case captioned Hooker v. Hooker, the Florida Supreme Court stated that although the trial judge possesses discretion to reach an equitable distribution of the parties' marital assets, there is a presumption that an even division is equitable, unless one of the parties shows otherwise.

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