GINA K. PERSAUD, Appellant/Cross-Appellee,
DHANIRAM DANNY PERSAUD, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Richard A.
A. Neumaier, Tampa, for Appellant/Cross-Appellee.
R. Schaffer of James R. Schaffer, P.A., Tampa, for
Persaud (the Wife) appeals the amended final judgment of
dissolution of marriage from Dhaniram Persaud (the Husband).
On appeal, the Wife argues that the trial court erred by: (1)
failing to award her adequate retroactive alimony; (2)not
considering the tax consequences of her durational alimony
award; and (3)erroneously calculating her retroactive child
support obligation. On cross-appeal, the Husband contends
that the trial court erred by awarding the Wife any alimony
at all. We find merit in only the second and third issues
raised by the Wife, and we therefore reverse those aspects of
the amended final judgment and remand for further
proceedings. In all other respects, we affirm.
fourteen-year marriage, the Husband filed for dissolution of
marriage on October 14, 2011. The parties initially
stipulated to the entry of an order granting temporary relief
to the Wife, under which the Husband was required to
"pay normal and customary marital expenses of the
parties, including without limitation, household mortgage
payments, electric, telephone, cable, and auto
insurance." The parties also agreed that the Husband
would pay the Wife an additional $1200 per month as temporary
support. When the marital home was sold, the court relieved
the Husband of his obligation to pay the expenses for that
home, but it increased the Wife's temporary support to
$3500 per month effective July 2013. The parties later
reached an agreement pertaining to equitable distribution
issues, leaving only the issues of alimony, child support,
and attorney's fees for the trial court's
amended final judgment, the court ordered the Husband to pay
durational alimony to the Wife of $3800 per month for a term
of eight years. It also ordered the Husband to pay $3800 per
month in alimony retroactively for the period of October 12,
2010, through July 31, 2013. Finally, the court ordered the
Wife to pay retroactive child support for the parties'
minor child for the period April 1, 2011, through July 31,
2013. The Wife appeals all three of these awards, and the
Husband cross-appeals the award of durational alimony.
Wife first argues that the trial court erred by failing to
award her retroactive alimony in accordance with her need
during the pendency of the dissolution proceedings,
contending that the temporary support award should have been
in addition to the expenses of the marital home because the
Husband was not paying those expenses as ordered. The trial
court found that prior to the sale of the marital home, the
Wife required an additional $2357 net after taxes to sustain
her lifestyle even after the Husband paid the monthly
expenses for the marital home. Nevertheless, the court had
awarded only $1200 per month in addition to those expenses-an
amount the Wife contends does not meet her demonstrated need.
award of retroactive alimony must be based on the receiving
spouse's need for alimony and the paying spouse's
ability to pay." Valentine v. Van Sickle, 42
So.3d 267, 274 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010). Need and ability to pay
are determined based on the court's consideration of the
factors listed in section 61.08(2), Florida Statutes (2011),
including, inter alia, the duration of the marriage, the
standard of living established during the marriage, the
financial resources and earning capacity of each party, the
tax treatment and consequences to both parties of the award,
and "[a]ny other factor necessary to do equity and
justice between the parties." "The trial
court's award of alimony is subject to an abuse of
discretion standard of review, and where the record does not
contain substantial, competent evidence to support the trial
court's findings regarding the amount of alimony awarded,
the appellate court will reverse the award." Wabeke
v. Wabeke, 31 So.3d 793, 795 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009).
contrary to the Wife's assertions, the Husband continued
to pay the expenses of the marital home as ordered during the
pendency of the proceedings and until the house was sold.
Moreover, the amended final judgment explicitly states that
the court considered the factors outlined in section
61.08(2), including the Wife's earning capacity and
history of holding jobs. The record contains competent,
substantial evidence supporting the court's factual and
statutory analysis, and we find no abuse of discretion in the
award of retroactive durational alimony. Therefore, we affirm
the Wife contends that the trial court erred in determining
the amount of her prospective durational alimony award
because it failed to consider the tax consequences of that
award. On cross-appeal, the Husband argues that the trial
court erred by awarding the Wife any durational alimony at
all. We reject the Husband's argument without further
comment. However, because we agree with the Wife that the
amended final judgment does not ...