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Accardi v. Accardi

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

June 12, 2019

EDMUND ACCARDI, Appellant,
v.
CHARLOTTE ACCARDI, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Keathan B. Frink, Judge; L.T. Case No. FMCE 03-010838.

          Brian C. Valentine and Rae Lynn Mosier of The Law Office of Mosier Valentine, PA, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

          Carin M. Porras of Brydger & Porras, LLP, Fort Lauderdale, for appellee.

          FORST, J.

         Appellant Edmund Accardi ("Former Husband") appeals the contempt order entered against him for his failure to pay Appellee Charlotte Accardi ("Former Wife") the alimony payments required under the 2005 order dissolving their marriage. Former Husband raises four issues on appeal. We affirm without discussion the holding that Former Husband is in contempt of the court order requiring him to pay alimony to Former Wife. As discussed herein, we reverse the order of the trial court with respect to the other three issues raised on appeal and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         Background

         In 2004, the parties entered into a marital settlement agreement in which Former Husband agreed to pay Former Wife $26, 700 per month in permanent non-modifiable alimony with a cost of living adjustment. The parties' agreement was ratified and adopted by the 2005 dissolution judgment.

         In 2017, Former Wife filed a motion for contempt and to enforce the dissolution judgment, alleging Former Husband's ongoing failure (since December 2008) to comply with his alimony obligation. At the contempt hearing, deposition testimony of the parties' son was presented. Based on this testimony, the trial court found that the son "said that in exchange for receiving an ownership interest in [Former Husband's automobile] dealerships, [the son] agreed to take care of Former Husband financially for the rest of his life." The son also stated that he was providing Former Husband with substantial funds ($20, 000/month on average), to augment Former Husband's income from other endeavors.

         The trial court entered a written order detailing its factual findings and holding Former Husband in contempt for willfully failing to comply with his alimony obligation. The court awarded Former Wife her attorney's fees and costs incurred, finding the amount to be supported by the evidence and reasonable. Additionally, the court found that the parties' son was

willing to write a check for $100, 000.00 if his father, Former Husband were faced with incarceration for failure to pay alimony. The Court finds Former Husband has the ability to pay alimony in accordance with the provisions set forth herein and Picurro v. Picurro, 734 So.2d 527 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999).

         (Emphasis added).

         The trial court ordered Former Husband to pay $2, 730, 439.50 for outstanding alimony with interest accruing daily (to be paid to Former Wife in $10, 000 monthly installments); $52, 578.55 for Former Wife's attorney's fees and costs; and $26, 753.40 per month in accordance with Former Husband's continuing alimony obligation. The court then set the purge amount at $100, 000, providing Former Husband with thirty days to pay it. Finally, the court ordered that a writ of arrest and bodily attachment would issue "[i]n the event ...


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