Calculation of alimony was recently discussed by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Reyes v. Fernandez. The court stated that permanent alimony is intended to provide for the needs and the necessities of life of the former spouse, as they were established during the course of their marriage. The two primary factors are the needs of the recipient spouse and the ability of the payor to provide the required funds.
Where a payor is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, a Court may impute income to the payor based upon his or her earning capacity. First, the court must determine that the unemployment or underemployment was voluntary. Second, the court must determine that the party’s unemployment or underemployment resulted from the payor’s pursuit of his or her own interests or as a result of less than diligent efforts to obtain employment at an income level that is equal to or higher than the income that was formerly received.
With regards to alimony, there is a presumption that a payor’s historical earnings supports a finding the payor can earn the same salary, absent evidence to the contrary. A court can impute income to a payor in accordance to what the payor could earn by the use of his or her best efforts to find employment that is consistent with his or her capability and then award alimony as if the party was earning that income.
To speak with an alimony attorney in Palm Beach Gardens , Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 328-1111.