Florida Court Reverses Alimony Award

Broadly speaking, Florida courts have the authority to grant alimony and establish the proper amount of maintenance. However, the courts must follow specific rules, and if they award alimony outside of the prescribed bounds without good reason, their decisions may be overturned. A Florida court recently reviewed grounds for overturning a trial court’s alimony order in a divorce case when the support obligation left the paying party with significantly less money than the party receiving support. If you want to dissolve your marriage or have been served with divorce papers, you should contact a reputable Florida divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss your choices.

The Trial Court’s Decision

According to reports, the couple filed a petition for divorce. The parties each presented external auditors who testified about the husband’s ability to pay alimony during the case’s trial. The experts’ opinions were based on the value of the husband’s business, changes in industry norms that affected his firm, operational costs, and the line of credit he was obliged to maintain for the business’s operation.

The wife’s expert allegedly stated that she required more than $9,000 every month and that the husband earned more than $15,000 each month. The husband’s expert, on the other hand, testified that the wife needed about $7,800 each month and that the husband had a negative net income of about $2,000 each month. The trial court determined that the husband could pay $8,000 per month in alimony and ordered him to give the wife with dental and health insurance as well as get a life insurance policy to guarantee the alimony. The husband filed an appeal.

Florida Alimony Awards

The abuse of discretion in alimony awards is investigated. The court emphasized that unless the court makes specific findings of extraordinary circumstances, an alimony order may not result with the paying party having significant less money than the recipient. Put another way , if an alimony award, when combined with other obligations such as health insurance, leaves the paying spouse unable to support himself or herself, no reasonable person could argue that the award was reasonable.

While the courts may require a party to pay a fair amount in alimony for health or dental insurance, the maximum cost of the insurance must be limited. A court may also order a party to ensure alimony via life insurance, but only if the court makes specific findings about the cost and availability of such insurance. The appellate court determined that the trial court failed to present any written support for its decision, which resulted in the husband earning much less than the wife, as required by law. As a result, it overturned the trial court’s decision.

Meet with a Skilled Miami Divorce Attorney

The courts may grant alimony in some divorce cases, although support awards cannot normally financially hurt the higher-earning spouse for the benefit of the lower-earning spouse. If you or your spouse are thinking about terminating your marriage, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney about your options. If you need assistance with a family law matter, the skilled Miami attorneys of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., can answer your questions and help you to seek a just result. We have an office in Aventura, and we frequently represent people in divorce cases in Miami. You can contact us through our form online or at 800-596-0579 to set up a meeting.