Retroactive alimony in Florida requires the identical analysis as does an assessment of/for permanent alimony. This same analysis must be applied when retroactive alimony in Florida is pled in conjunction with any other form of alimony. A family law attorney’s argument at trial for retroactive alimony must be based on the recipient’s need and the payor’s ability to pay. Barrett v. Barrett, No. 5D20-946, 2021 WL 934990, at *3 (Fla. 5th DCA Mar. 12, 2021), see Motie v. Motie, 132 So. 3d 1210, 1214 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014). This makes sense because alimony is not intended to equalize two spouse’s incomes, nor is alimony intended to punish the paying spouse by impoverishing him or her. Jonathan Jacobs is an Orlando alimony attorney practicing divorce and family law throughout Central Florida. Call us for a consultation to discuss your retroactive alimony Florida case. Dial 407-335-8113 today to call the Jacobs Law Firm.
In unity with section Florida Statute 61.08(1), a family law trial court is obligated to support its Retroactive alimony Florida determination by making specific factual findings concerning the spouse that must pay alimony and his/her ability to pay and the need of the spouse that may receive an alimony payment. The trial court must adhere to the factors listed in section 61.08(2)(a)-(j). Austin v. Austin, 12 So.3d 314, 317 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (citing Williams v. Williams, 923 So.2d 606, 607 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006)). Valentine v. Van Sickle, 42 So. 3d 267, 272 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010).
Retroactive Alimony in Florida and Florida Alimony Statute
Pursuant to the Florida Alimony Statute regarding Retroactive alimony Florida, the factors a court must consider and express written findings thereof are in part and paraphrased as follows:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage (middle class? Luxurious? Frugal? Living within one’s means?).
(b) The duration of the marriage (a short term marriage lasts for fewer than seven years, a moderate term marriage for approximately 7-17 years and a long term marriage for 17 or more years).
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party (many dissolution of marriage cases involve one spouse that is disabled).
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each (this may in certain circumstances include inheritances and premarital property).
(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment (this goes to bridge the gap and rehabilitative alimony alongside retroactive alimony Florida).
(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party (being a full time parent is a rewarding and wonderful sacrifice and is taken into account when a court considers retroactive alimony Florida).
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
Jonathan Jacobs is managing partner of the Jacobs Law Firm, a divorce and family law firm with offices in Winter Park and Clermont, Florida.