A recently decided alimony case captioned Rodolph v. Rodolph involved two appeals by the husband. Since both appeals involved the same parties and the same facts, the Florida Court of Appeal consolidated the cases into one appeal. In Rodolph v. Rodolph, the husband appealed the lower court’s order denying his Supplemental Petition for Termination or Modification of Alimony. Additionally, the Husband appealed the award of $39,000.00 in attorney’s fees to his wife.
In this case, the husband and wife were married for 33 years. At the time of the divorce, the Husband had been a corrections officer for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for twenty-four years. In the final judgment of dissolution, the wife was granted permanent periodic alimony and a portion of husband’s retirement funds. Husband filed a Supplemental Petition to Either Modify or Terminate Alimony. Husband’s Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony alleged that husband did not have the ability to continue to pay alimony because he was involuntarily unemployed due to his heart condition, his neck and back problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome in his wrist and arm. Husband also alleged that his wife no longer had a need for alimony because she received the first share of husband’s retirement funds, she was receiving disability payments and her monthly expenses were reduced. While Husband’s Supplemental Petition for Modification was pending, Wife filed a Motion for Contempt of Court against Husband because Husband ceased making alimony payments.
At the hearing on husband’s Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony, husband testified that he was receiving social security payments, but was earning no income. He also testified that he remarried and was living with his new wife and her children. Husband purchased a new home and incurred various expenses. In order to meet his expenses, husband withdrew $3,500 per month from his retirement account. Wife testified that her expenses for rent, association fees, water, garbage, insurance, cable, and donations to religious organizations exceeded her income.