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Alimony and the Importance of Findings of Fact

Alimony is an area of the law that requires a fact intensive investigation by the court.  When a court decides to either award an alimony claim or deny an alimony claim, the court is required to consider all of the statutory factors set forth in Florida Statute 61.08(2).

If a final judgment fails to consider all of the factors set forth in Florida Statute 61.08, the judgment is fatal, and the award or denial of alimony will be reversed and remanded to the trial court for further consideration.

This problem arose in a recent case from Broward County, Florida. In the case of Badgley  v. Sanchez, 165 So3d 742 (2015), the trial court failed to consider all of the statutory factors in making an award of alimony.  The appellate court took note of the fact that some of the statutory factors were considered, but not all of them.  The appellate court stated that a failure to consider all of the mandated factors is reversible error.

An award of alimony is also based on the parties net incomes, when the court is assessing the need of one party and the ability to pay of the other.  If the need does not exist, the discussion of alimony should end at that point.

Sending a case back to the trial court for further consideration on remand can be a costly and unnecessary expense, not to mention the additional stress that a reconsideration can create.  It’s important to get these issues right the first time.  An experienced divorce attorney can substantially reduce the risk of having a case reversed on appeal.  Divorce Attorney Alan R. Burton has over 35 years of trial experience, and has the ability to present your case to a trial judge in a clear, concise and complete fashion.  Mr. Burton has offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He is readily accessible by calling him at 954–295–9222.  Call him today for assistance with your divorce.


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