A recent Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals case reversing a bridge-the-gap alimony award underscores the need to accurately present financial information during a divorce proceeding.
In Crick v. Crick, Case. No. 2D11-629 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012), the Court reversed an alimony award holding that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding $2000 per month in bridge-the-gap alimony to the former wife.
The Court noted the trial court did not “…include findings…” in its alimony award “…as to the former wife’s net or gross income or the former husband’s net income.” The Court also noted that even when considering the former husband’s gross income, the trial court’s alimony award along with child support and payment on the marital home debt exceeded the husband’s ability to pay.
It is unclear from the Crick opinion whether the parties did not properly present and introduce the parties’ financial information to the trial court or the trial court neglected to consider the financial information submitted in the case. Either way, the result was an award that was impossible for the husband to comply with in light of his financial situation.
The Crick case illustrates the need to discover and introduce accurate financial information in a divorce matter. A good divorce attorney will carefully analyze the party’s financial affidavits and compare them to other documents obtained in the discovery process, such as pay stubs and taxes returns, to ensure that financial information is stated accurately.
Attorney analysis is important because it is not uncommon for one or both spouse(s) to misstate financial information in their financial affidavits. Often times, misstatements of financial information are unintentional, but failure to correct any misstatement could lead a trial court to order an inequitable alimony award, child support order or property division.
If you have any questions about family law, divorce or alimony, do not hesitate to contact Attorney Christopher (“Chris”) Taylor in Jacksonville, Florida office. Please call 904-339-5298 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.