final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Steven M.
Michael M. Giel of Giel Family Law, P.A., Jacksonville, for
appearance for Appellee.
appeal from a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, the
former husband raises multiple issues on appeal: (I) the
trial court erred when it calculated the equitable
distribution award; (II) the trial court erred when it
required the former husband to make a lump-sum payment; (III)
the trial court erred by imputing income to the former
husband when it calculated the alimony payments; (IV) the
trial court erred by awarding the former wife retroactive
alimony; (V) the trial court erred when it required the
former husband to secure the former wife's alimony award
with life insurance; (VI) the trial court erred by ordering
the former husband's alimony payments to continue past
his death; and (VII) the trial court erred in granting the
former wife attorney's fees and costs. We find the trial
court's equitable distribution scheme contained a
mathematical error and remand for correction of the error and
otherwise affirm the equitable distribution scheme. We find
the trial court erred when it required the former husband to
make a lump-sum payment to the former wife as there is no
indication in the record that the former husband had the
ability to pay such an award. We find no error in the trial
court's imputation of income to the former husband and
award of alimony and retroactive alimony to the former wife
and affirm. We find the trial court erred when it required
the former husband to obtain life insurance to secure the
former wife's alimony award and when it required the
alimony award to extend beyond the former husband's
death. Because the parties appear to be on equal financial
footing after equitable distribution and the award of
alimony, we reverse the trial court's award of
attorney's fees and costs to the former wife.
appellate court reviews a trial court's equitable
distribution scheme for abuse of discretion. Stough v.
Stough, 18 So.3d 601, 604 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009). The trial
court provided a thorough equitable distribution scheme that
contains a mathematical error in the initial equalization
amount. After distributing the parties' assets and debts,
the trial court found that the former husband received $3,
739.61 more than the former wife. The record clearly shows
that there was only a difference of $1, 739.61. Based on the
correct difference, the former wife was only entitled to an
initial equalizing payment of $869.80 rather than $1, 869.80.
Therefore, we reverse on this point and remand for the trial
court to correct the mathematical error and to reduce the
former wife's total equitable distribution equalizing
payment by $1, 000.00. We otherwise affirm the equitable
distribution award. See Ard v. Ard, 765 So.2d 106,
107 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000) (reversing the equitable distribution
scheme solely to correct a mathematical error and otherwise
affirming the equitable distribution scheme).
"[A] lump sum equalizing payment to accomplish equitable
distribution 'is properly awarded only when the evidence
reflects a justification for such an award and the
ability of the paying spouse to make the payment without
substantially endangering his or her economic
Abramovic v. Abramovic, 188 So.3d 61, 64 (Fla. 4th
DCA 2016) (quoting Fortune v. Fortune, 61 So.3d 441,
446 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) (emphasis added) (quoting Bishop
v. Bishop, 47 So.3d 326, 331 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010)).
See also Neal v. Meek, 591 So.2d 1044, 1046 (Fla.
1st DCA 1991) (any required lump-sum payment must be
supported by findings of fact demonstrating the payor
spouse's ability to make the payment within the
trial court made no findings with regards to the former
husband's ability to pay a lump-sum equalizing payment.
Because there is no indication in the record that the former
husband had the ability to make a lump-sum payment within the
time frame set by the trial court, we reverse.
appellate court reviews an award of alimony for abuse of
discretion. Abbott v. Abbott, 187 So.3d 326, 327
(Fla. 1st DCA 2016). The appellate court reviews the
application of the law to the facts of the case de novo and
will not reverse an ...