In a recent case out of the Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal , the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny the husband permanent, periodic alimony. The parties had been married 17 years and the husband was unemployed receiving Social Security Disability benefits but had a total net worth of over $1.3 million consisting of real estate, financial holdings, and retirement plans. The wife was grossing over $10,000 per month in income and had a net worth of over $600,000. The trial court imputed income to the husband based on a 3% investment rate of return on his real estate and financial assets, including his non-liquid assets, and based on the imputation of income, found the husband did not have the need for alimony.
In upholding the trial court’s ruling, the appellate court acknowledged that while the law was not clear on the issue of whether a trial court should impute income based on a reasonable return on a former spouse’s non-liquid assets, it was not an abuse of discretion to do so. The appellate court went on to state that a contrary rule would simply encourage spouses with substantial non-liquid assets to engage in strategic gamesmanship, such as delaying the liquidation of their assets, for purposes of advancing or defending alimony claims.
The implications of this case is great. It could mean that a spouse is not entitled to alimony despite his lack of income where he owns substantial non-liquid assets, such as a retirement account. However, the appellate court seems to suggest that the imputation of income from non-liquid assets is only reasonable when it applies to assets that are typically investment assets and does not require the spouse to invade the principal of his assets.
If you think that your divorce judgment is inequitable and you need legal advice on appealing it, please contact us .
By Carol Yoon- Associate Attorney
The Florida Bar, Family Law section just voted the case of Lostaglio v. Lostaglio the “2016 Alimony Case of the Year”, and our managing partner, Ted Doran , was lead trial counsel and lead appellate counsel. He was assisted on appeal by Attorney Carol Yoon of the Doran Law Firm. One thousand six hundred (1600) of the State’s top Divorce Lawyers were present to vote at the Annual Conference being held in Orlando with Ted Doran in attendance.
The case had been litigated for over 4 years prior to the final opinion issued by the Fifth District Court of Appeal. The ruling establishes the parameters for applying adultery to Alimony cases throughout Florida and will have a significant impact on all future Alimony cases.
Contact our Winning Team to discuss your case!!!
By Theodore R. Doran- Partner
Insurance companies have denied payment in 43.8% of all closed Hurricane Matthew claims in Volusia and Flagler Counties. This amounts to nearly half of all insurance claims either being denied or estimated by the adjuster (working for the insurance company) below the deductible.
As of October 28, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reports the following statistics for claims in Volusia and Flagler Counties:
Number of Claims 35,868
Closed Claims (Paid) 8,025
Closed Claims (Unpaid) 6,244
Number Claims Open 21,599
Percent Claims Closed 39.8%
These statistics raise several questions:
Of the 6,244 unpaid claims, how many claims were either wrongfully denied or underpaid so that the claim failed to exceed the deductible?
Of the 8,025 paid claims, how many claims were underpaid?
The simple answer is, without review of each and every claim by an experienced property insurance attorney, a homeowner will likely never know if their insurance company properly paid or denied payment.
Contact us to get the money you were denied.
Free Consultation…No Fee if No Recovery
By Michael Ciocchetti – Partner