In calculating alimony, income will be imputed to the owner of non-income producing assets. In a case captioned Sherlock v. Sherlock, the husband appealed the final judgment dissolving the parties' marriage. The parties were married for seventeen years. A seventeen year marriage is rebuttably presumed to be a long-term marriage. The husband was awarded non-income producing assets. These assets were comprised of financial accounts and real estate.
In awarding alimony, the trial court must make factual findings concerning all ten of the statutory alimony factors in order to avoid reversible error. In Patino v. Patino, the Fourth District Court of Appeal recently stated: "We again remind trial judges of the importance of making explicit findings as to all statutorily mandated factors for the determination of alimony in final judgments, as well as establishing a value (even if zero or de minimus) for all marital assets and liabilities when devising an equitable distribution scheme.
Automatic changes in alimony are disfavored, however, they may be appropriate upon specifically articulated changes in circumstances. In Voda v. Voda, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Karen Voda (Former Wife) filed for dissolution of marriage from John Voda (Former Husband) in 2009; the trial court equitably distributed the assets and awarded Former Wife permanent, periodic alimony
In awarding durational alimony, the Court should consider the disparity in the parties' incomes and the parties' proximity to retirement. In Packo v. Packo, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that: "The former husband, Richard G. Packo, appeals the final judgment that dissolved his marriage to the former wife, Kimberly S. Packo. We reverse and remand for the trial court to make the necessary valuations for the equitable distribution of marital assets and to reconsider the life insurance obligation imposed on the former husband or support such obligation with the requisite findings. We affirm the final judgment in all other respects. We review the trial court's final judgment dissolving the parties' marriage for an abuse of discretion. Vitalis v. Vitalis,799 So.2d 1127, 1130 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001). The trial court's discretion, however, is curtailed by certain statutory and judicially created requirements. E.g., id. at 1131 (reversing final judgment of dissolution for failure to make statutorily required findings).
In awarding alimony, the calculation of income from investments should reflect current reality. In Tarkow v. Tarkow, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that: "(WALLACE, Judge.) Based on claims by Stanley A. Tarkow (the Former Husband) that his financial circumstances had changed substantially and that Miriam R, Tarkow, n/k/a Katherine Kofler (the Former Wife), is in a supportive relationship, the circuit court entered an order that substantially reduced the Former Husband's permanent periodic alimony payments. The Former Wife appeals the order, and the Former Husband cross-appeals. On the appeal, we affirm in part and reverse in part; we affirm on the cross-appeal...
In divorce proceedings, lump sum alimony is not a third type of alimony, but a means to accomplish rehabilitation or permanent support. It establishes a non modifiable and non-terminable obligation. "Section 61.08(1), Florida Statutes (2008), authorizes permanent alimony "payments in lump sum."