In a recently decided alimony case captioned Jimenez v. Jimenez, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that in reaching a decision concerning alimony, a trial court is required to consider every one of the factors set forth in the Florida Statutes. In deciding whether or not to award alimony, a trial court is required to decide whether one of the parties has the ability to pay alimony and whether the other party has the need for alimony. If a court determines that one party has the ability to pay alimony and that the other party has the need for alimony, the court is required to consider all of the following ten factors. First, the standard of living established by the parties during the marriage. Second, the length of the marriage. Third, the physical and emotional condition of each of the parties and the age of the parties. Fourth, each parties assets and liabilities. Fifth, the parties' earning capacities and the need for additional training and education. Sixth, each of the parties' contribution to the marriage. Seventh, the need to stay home with any minor children. Eighth, the tax consequences of an award of alimony. Ninth, each parties' sources of income from employment or investments. Tenth, any other factor that the court considers is necessary to reach a fair and just resolution of the matter.
In a recent division of property and assets case, captioned Gotro v. Gotro the Florida Court of Appeal held that a trial court should not include expended assets in an equitable distribution scheme unless these assets were dissipated as a result of one of the parties' misconduct. In this case, the parties had a 39 year marriage and had 4 adult children. The husband was the primary breadwinner. The husband had a number of bank accounts which were marital assets. The significant bank accounts, for purposes of this appeal, were two accounts at BBVA Compass Bank. By the time that the final hearing took place, the balances in these two bank accounts was significantly lower than they had been at the time of the filing of the divorce. The husband testified that he had used the money in these accounts for his living expenses. The husband requested that the trial court distribute these accounts based upon their value at the time of the final hearing and not as of the date of the filing of the dissolution of marriage. In fashioning its final judgment, the trial court used the values in the accounts as of the date of the filing of the divorce.