Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal has reversed a permanent periodic alimony and attorney fees award in a high profile divorce case. A Miami-Dade trial court awarded Nancy Loftus Quinones $14,135 in monthly alimony following her 2009 divorce from her husband of 18 years, ABC News correspondent John M. Quinones. At the time of the parties’ divorce, the former wife was reportedly largely unemployed for 18 years and the former husband earned more than $1 million per year. The couple also had two children who were attending private schools, one of whom was still a minor. Mr. Quinones reportedly voluntarily paid the private school tuition for both children.
At the time of the divorce, Mr. Quinones reportedly brought home more than $58,000 per month. He allegedly paid approximately $52,000 per year on college tuition and other payments for the couple’s adult son. Because the parties reportedly did not enter into a contractual agreement regarding the tuition payments, the trial court committed error when it considered the former husband’s voluntary payments for the couple’s adult child when determining the wife’s alimony award. This increased Mr. Quinones’ monthly expenses and reduced the amount of money he had available each month to pay alimony to his former wife.
Mrs. Quinones claimed she required $28,000 per month in order to maintain her current lifestyle. According to the Third District Court, the number was not unreasonable based on the parties’ lifestyle and her former husband’s income. Despite that no evidence was offered to refute the former wife’s financial claims, the trial court adjusted her alimony award downward. Consequently, the Third District Court of Appeal determined the trial court failed to properly take into account the standard of living the wife enjoyed prior to the couple’s divorce as required by Florida Statute.
The Third District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded the case for reconsideration of the permanent periodic alimony award. On remand, the trial court was ordered to disregard Mr. Quinones’ voluntary payment of tuition expenses for his adult child and to take into account the standard of living enjoyed by the parties prior to the dissolution of their marriage. Additionally, because there was nothing in the trial court record to demonstrate the former wife engaged in behavior to prolong litigation or inflate her attorney’s fees, the Court reversed the trial court’s costs award and remanded the issue for reconsideration. Finally, the Third District affirmed the trial court’s equitable distribution award.
If you are seeking to end your marriage, contact Sandy T. Fox, an experienced Miami divorce lawyer. Mr. Fox focuses his practice exclusively on Florida family law matters. He helps clients throughout South Florida with divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, paternity, and other family law matters. To schedule your confidential consultation, contact Sandy T. Fox through his website or call him at (800) 596-0579 today.
More Blog Posts:
Permanent Alimony, So-Called “Anti-Sharia” Bills Die in Florida Senate, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, March 14, 2012
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maxine Cohen Lando Passes Away, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, February 29, 2012
Quinones v. Quinones, No. 3D10-432, District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District (March 21, 2012).