In many divorce cases, the most contested issues are how property should be divided and whether either party is entitled to spousal support. Spousal support may be warranted in some instances, but the court must make certain factual findings prior to issuing an order dictating that one spouse must provide the other with financial support; otherwise, the ruling may be unjust. In a recent Florida opinion in a case in which the husband appealed an order granting the wife support, the issuing court explained when alimony is appropriate. If you decided to end your marriage, it is prudent to seek the assistance of a dedicated Florida divorce attorney to help you fight to protect your rights.
Facts of the Case
Allegedly, the husband and the wife were married for more than twenty years before the wife filed for divorce in 2016. Throughout most of the marriage, the husband worked as a neurologist while the wife was a homemaker. He suffered a heart attack four years after they were married and reduced his work hours while receiving disability payments. In the years before the end of the marriage, the wife resumed working as a physical therapist. At the time of the divorce, the husband earned approximately $200,000 per year, while the wife earned around $85,000. The wife sought and received alimony in the amount of $2,000 per month. The husband appealed, arguing the court failed to make the factual determinations necessary to support the order.
Spousal Support Under Florida Law
Under Florida law, a court determining whether to award alimony must first make a specific determination of fact as to whether either spouse needs alimony. The court must evaluate whether either party has the ability to pay alimony as well. In the subject case, the appellate court found that the trial court failed to make the detailed findings required under Florida law. Continue reading ›