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Persaud v. Persaud

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

May 18, 2018

GINA K. PERSAUD, Appellant/Cross-Appellee,
v.
DHANIRAM DANNY PERSAUD, Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Richard A. Nielsen, Judge.

          Mark A. Neumaier, Tampa, for Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

          James R. Schaffer of James R. Schaffer, P.A., Tampa, for Appellee/Cross- Appellant

         BY ORDER OF THE COURT:

         Appellant/Cross-Appellee's motion for rehearing is granted. The prior opinion dated February 9, 2018, is withdrawn, and the attached opinion is issued in its place.

         I HEREBY CERTIFY THE FOREGOING IS A TRUE COPY OF THE ORIGINAL COURT ORDER.

          VILLANTI, JUDGE.

         Gina 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 all three arguments 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.

         Retroactive Durational Alimony

         The Wife first argues that the trial court erred by failing to award her retroactive alimony in accordance with her demonstrated need as found by the trial court. This argument has merit and requires us to remand for further proceedings.

         After a fourteen-year marriage, the Husband filed for dissolution on October 14, 2010. At that time, the Husband owned and ran a successful armored car business while the Wife was essentially a stay-at-home mother.

         In July 2011, the parties stipulated to the entry of an order granting temporary relief to the Wife, under which the Husband agreed to pay the Wife $1200 per month in temporary support in addition to paying the "normal and customary marital expenses of the parties, including without limitation, household mortgage payments, electric, telephone, cable, and auto insurance." There is no dispute that the "normal and customary expenses of the parties" totaled approximately $11, 781 per month. Hence, the Husband agreed to pay $12, 981 per month in temporary support, with $1200 being paid directly to the Wife and the remainder being paid to others on her behalf. When the marital home was sold in July 2013, a subsequent order was entered that relieved the Husband of his obligation to pay the "normal and customary marital expenses" but increased the direct support payment to the Wife to $3500 per month.

         As the case progressed, the parties reached agreement on equitable distribution, leaving only the issues of alimony, child support, and attorney's fees for the trial court's determination. In paragraph 4.8 of the findings of fact in the amended final judgment, the court found that the "Wife required $2, 357.00 net after taxes after Husband paid the mortgage, utilities and other customary expenses required by the July 8, 2011, Order Granting Temporary Relief." (Emphasis added.) Given the parties' earlier agreement that the mortgage, utilities, and other customary expenses totaled ...


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