Generally, Florida courts have the discretion to award alimony and to determine what amount of support is appropriate. The courts must adhere to certain guidelines, however, and if they grant alimony awards that fall outside of the established parameters without just cause, their rulings may be overturned. Recently, a Florida court discussed grounds for reversing a trial court’s ruling with regards to an alimony award in a divorce case in which the support obligation left the payor with far less income than the payee. If you wish to end your marriage or were served with divorce papers, it is smart to speak to a trusted Florida divorce lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate your options.
The Trial Court Ruling
It is reported that the parties filed a petition for marital dissolution. During the trial of the matter, the parties each presented forensic accountants who testified regarding the husband’s ability to pay alimony. The experts’ opinions were based on the value of the husband’s business, changes in industry standards that affected his business, the costs of operating the business, and the line of credit he was required to preserve for its operation.
Allegedly, the wife’s expert testified that she needed in excess of $9,000 per month and that the husband earned over $15,000 a month. In contrast, the husband’s expert testified the wife needed approximately $7,800 a month, and the husband had a net negative income of around $2,000 per month. The trial court ruled the husband could pay $8,000 per month and ordered the husband to provide dental and health insurance for the wife and to obtain a life insurance policy to secure the alimony. The husband appealed. Continue reading ›