In a newly decided alimony case captioned Harkness v. Harkness, the wife appealed the final judgment dissolving her marriage and awarding her durational alimony. The husband and wife were married for more than nineteen years. During the marriage, the husband worked full time, and the wife was a stay at home mother raising the parties' children. After the wife petitioned for dissolution of marriage, she found a job earning substantially less than her husband. In the Final Judgment dissolving the marriage, the trial court ruled that there was no basis for awarding permanent alimony to the wife because she has the capacity to financially sustain herself. Therefore, the trial court only awarded her durational alimony for five years. The Florida Court of Appeal reversed this decision.
An alimony case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Baron v. Baron. In Barron v. Barron, the Wife appealed a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage that denied her request for permanent periodic alimony. The parties were married for twenty years. Rather than awarding the former wife permanent support, the trial court awarded her durational alimony for twelve months.
A division of property and assets case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned O'Neill v. O'Neill. In this case, the Husband appealed the equitable distribution award issued by the trial court. The lower court improperly included in the division of property and assets an automobile that was no longer in the Wife's possession, failed to consider the loan balance in valuing the Husband's car, and failed to properly value the parties' investment accounts.
A durational alimony case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Johnson v. Johnson. In this case, the husband and wife were married in 2006. They have two children. The husband worked in retail, and the wife was an auditor. The wife's income substantially exceeded the Husband's. In 2011, the husband stopped working in order to raise the children. In 2017, the husband returned to work. In the divorce proceeding, the Husband sought alimony from the wife. The lower court awarded durational alimony to the husband for a period of sixty months.
An alimony case involving imputation of income was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Jorgensen v. Tagarelli. In this case the wife appealed a final judgment in which the lower court incorrectly imputed income. In the case at bar, the wife earned $118,000, in 2016. The parties separated, and the wife voluntarily left her job and began working as a self-employed insurance broker, where she earned approximately $38,000. The husband asked the trial court to impute income to the wife based upon his contention that the wife intentionally caused the reduction her income.
A child custody and visitation case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Frye v. Cuomo. In this case, the parties were married for nine-years. They had two minor children at the time of the divorce. The mother filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, citing the father's history of alcohol abuse. As a condition to exercise timesharing, the trial court required the father to completely abstain from alcohol, and ordered the father to submit to blood alcohol testing at the beginning of every visitation and at the end of every visitation. The lower court also awarded the mother the authority to demand immediate and periodic testing of the father at any time, and required the Father to pay for the cost of the testing device.
Appropriate division of property and assets in Florida divorce proceedings was recently explained by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Jackson v. Blazer. In reaching its decision in this division of property and assets matter, the Court turned to the statutory definitions of marital and nonmarital property in the State of Florida. In Florida, marital property includes: (i) assets obtained and liabilities incurred during the course of the marriage; (ii) the increase in the value of nonmarital assets that result from either party's efforts during the course of the marriage or from the use of marital funds; (iii) the reduction in the principal of any mortgages secured by real property that are nonmarital, and part of any passive appreciation in properties if the mortgages are reduced with marital funds; (iv) gifts that the parties give to each other during the marriage; (v) retirement benefits, annuities, insurance, deferred compensation, and pension and profit-sharing rights obtained during the course of the marriage; and (iv) property held by the husband and wife as tenants by the entireties is presumed to be a marital. This presumption is rebuttable.
Imputation for purposes of alimony was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Cura v. Cura. In Cura v. Cura, the Husband filed an appeal challenging an order awarding temporary alimony and child support. After a seventeen year marriage, the husband and wife separated. When the parties separated they were living at the husband's mother's home in Palm Beach County, Florida. The wife obtained her own residence and filed for divorce. She sought an award of temporary alimony and child support. During the course of the marriage, the parties enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Immediately before the filing for divorce, the parties sold a valuable piece of property. The husband then sold a second piece of property. Finally, the husband took out a large mortgage on a third piece of property. The husband also sold a number of investments.
Child Custody and Visitation in Florida was recently addressed by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Beck v. Lewis. In this case the father appealed the temporary order of the court which created a temporary timesharing schedule for the parents. The trial court granted temporary primary custody of the child to the mother. The Court of Appeal affirmed this temporary order. The temporary order terminated a prior court order that awarded temporary timesharing to the child's grandmother.
An alimony issue was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Cooper v. Cooper. In this case the husband appealed a divorce judgment obtained by his wife. The trial court awarded the wife permanent alimony. The Husband contended that the amount of the alimony award was improper. The Florida Court of Appeal agreed. In calculating alimony, the trial court included the husband's total income which consisted of the husband's salary and bonuses. The Florida Court of Appeal ruled that the ability to pay alimony is based on net income, not total income. Therefore, the appellate court reversed the alimony award and remanded the case back to the trial court with directions that the trial curt should issue an award based upon the husband's net income. Additionally, the appellate court directed the trial court to calculate the tax consequences of the support award on the husband's net income. Finally, the Florida Court of Appeal instructed the trial court to determine whether life insurance was required to secure the payment of the alimony award based on the cost of the insurance, its availability and the need for this insurance.