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Self Employed Spouses and the Ability to Pay Alimony

A trial court is required to make sufficient findings about an individual’s ability to pay alimony.  A litigant requesting alimony has the burden of proof on both his or her financial need as well as the other spouse’s ability to pay and meet that need. Gilliard v. Gilliard, 162 So3rd 1147 (Florida 5th DCA 2015).

In a recent case, Rutan v. Rutan, 177 So3rd 35 (Florida 2nd DCA 2015), the trial court noted the well-known ability of “self-employed spouses, in contrast to salaried employees, to control and regulate their income.”

Reasonable inferences made by a trial court from the evidence submitted regarding a party’s income are not enough. Inferences, no matter how reasonable, do not constitute a satisfactory substitute for the trial court making specific findings concerning the actual amount of income that would justify an alimony award.

You cannot afford to leave any stones unturned when you are either seeking alimony or defending a claim against paying alimony.  Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, you need an experienced and competent trial attorney to protect your interests in court.  Boca Raton divorce attorney Alan R Burton has the requisite experience and trial demeanor to represent you in a professional manner. Alan R Burton can be reached by calling him at his office at 954-229-1660 or on his cell phone at 954-295-9222.


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