In awarding alimony, income will not be imputed to a spouse who decides to defer taking Social Security benefits when that party would receive larger benefits by deferring the benefits.
Unmarried father's rights were discussed in a recently decided case captioned State of Florida Department of Revenue v. Augustin. The Florida statutes provide for a mechanism under which men may disestablish paternity and terminate their child support obligation. In order to do this a man must prove seven things. First, that since the initial establishment of the father's paternity, he became aware of newly discovered evidence that proves that he is not the father of the child. Second, a paternity test was properly conducted which demonstrates that he is not the father of the child. Third, that the petitioner is current on his child support payments or that there is a justification for his failure to do so. Fourth, that the petitioner has not adopted the child. Fifth, that the child was not the produce of in vitro fertilization. Sixth, that the petitioner did not take any action to deprive the actual father from asserting his righ ts. Seventh, that the child was less than eighteen years of age when the petition was filed.
A modification of alimony based upon a party's retirement may be granted when the trial court finds that the party's retirement is reasonable. In determining whether a party's retirement is reasonable, a Court will look at the parties' age, health, and motivation for retiring. In determining whether a reduction in alimony based upon a party's retirement will be permitted, the trial court will also examine the type of work that the paying party performs and the age at which others in that line of work customarily retire.
A Division of Property and Assets case was recently decided by the Florida court of Appeal. In a case captioned Ramos v. Ramos, the Court ruled that, under Florida law, the appreciation in the value of a nonmarital asset that results from the expenditure of marital funds or from marital labor is a marital asset. For example, if a $500,000 home is owned by one of the parties prior to the marriage and the value of that home is increased to $1,000,000 as a result of marital efforts, the increase in the value of the home is considered to be a marital asset subject to division by the Court.
In a recent decided alimony case captioned Shimer v. Corey, the Florida Court of Appeal held that the lower court made a mistake when it required the Husband to purchase a life insurance policy as part of the alimony award in this case. The Florida statutes permit a court to require a party to maintain a life insurance policy to secure alimony payments. In making a decision as to whether a payor should be required to purchase insurance to secure an alimony award the trial court should consider the following factors.
In a recent paternity case captioned L.G. v. Department of Children and Families, the legal father of a child appealed an order denying his Petition to Disestablish Paternity of a child. The legal father was not married to the child's mother. However, the legal father acknowledged his paternity on the child's birth certificate. The legal father filed a Petition to Disestablish Paternity based on newly discovered evidence. The newly discovered evidence was that a recent DNA test showed that he was not the actual father of the child. The trial judge denied the father's Petition based upon the fact that another father was unwilling to step in and serve as the father of this child.
A modification of alimony is permitted by the Florida Statutes. In a recently decided case captioned Kallett v. Kastriner, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that the right to apply for a modification of alimony may only be waived in an agreement if the language in the contract contains a waiver that is clear and unambiguous, or if the agreement is written in a manner that can lead to no other conclusion but that the parties intended there to be a waiver of this right.
In a recent alimony case captioned Gillette v. Gillette, the Florida Court of Appeal refused to impute income to a small business owner who chose to continue working in his own business rather than working for a larger employer.
In a recently decided child relocation case, the parties had two minor children. The Wife wanted to relocate to Virginia with the children. The Husband opposed the relocation. The parties lived in Virginia for many years prior to moving to Florida. After the parties lived in Florida for two years, the wife filed a petition for divorce. The wife requested that the trial court permit her to relocate with the children because she believed that the relocation would be in the children's best interest. Additionally, she argued that the relocation would eliminate her need to constantly travel for work.
In paternity unwed/unmarried parents cases, gifts from the paying party's family members and gifts from the paying party's boyfriends and girlfriend may be included in calculating the paying party's income. In a recently decided case captioned Wood v. Wood, the father started working for a company owned by his girlfriend. In his financial affidavit the father listed his monthly income. The trial court found that the father earned a salary from the father's employment, but also believed that another source was paying the father's expenses. The trial court imputed additional income to the father from his family and from his girlfriend. When the case was presented to the Florida Court of Appeal, the father argued that the trial court misunderstood his financial circumstances and argued that the trial court's ruling was erroneous. The Court of Appeal agreed with the father and found that the trial court's ruling was based on speculation. The Florida Court of Appeal and reversed the lower court's ruling.