final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower
Tribunal No. 09-2379, Rosa C. Figarola, Judge.
Miami LLC and Juan Ramirez, Jr.; Zumpano Patricios &
Winker, P.A. and Leon N. Patricios and Heather K. Stoessel,
Gilbert C. Betz, P.A. and Gilbert C. Betz, for appellee.
EMAS, C.J., and FERNANDEZ and HENDON , JJ.
former wife appeals the trial court's final judgment of
dissolution of marriage. Specifically, the former wife
challenges the trial court's refusal to award permanent
alimony and the court's distribution of marital assets.
For the reasons articulated below, we reverse for equitable
distribution of the USAA Subscriber account and affirm in all
parties, Janet Ray Weininger ("Janet") and Michael
J. Weininger ("Michael"), were married in February
1977. They had two children - Peter and Christina. Both
children were adults when the parties filed for divorce on
January 28, 2009.
the marriage, Michael was the family's primary
breadwinner. Michael was a pilot in the Air Force when the
parties met. When he retired from active duty, he continued
to fly for the Reserves, and began flying as a pilot for
Delta Airlines. He later retired from the Reserves and worked
only for Delta. Janet worked sporadically and/or
part-time. Following the birth of their first child,
the parties agreed that Janet would be the homemaker because
Michael's career required significant travel.
family lived comfortably on Michael's income. They sent
their children to private schools, and they paid for the
children's college education.
couple acquired several properties over the course of their
marriage. They purchased the family home in Palmetto Bay, two
rental properties in Tampa, and land in Alabama. The
properties were purchased and maintained with funds from the
couple's joint accounts. The rental income, along with
Michael's salary and bonuses, were deposited in joint
acquired several retirement accounts and insurance policies
throughout his career with the Air Force, the Reserves, and
Delta Airlines. Michael began receiving military retirement
benefits in December of 2012, at the age of 60. His military
retirement benefits were not shared with Janet. Michael also
acquired the following during the marriage: a Charles Schwab
investment account; a Delta Pilots Savings Plan and a Delta
Pilots Defined Contribution Plan ("Delta
Retirement"); and a USAA Subscriber's Account.
also acquired her own funds during the marriage. She
maintained an individual IRA, and also received approximately
$9 million from a lawsuit stemming from the capture and death
of her father during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Janet
established the Wings of Valor trust ("the Trust")
with the lawsuit proceeds and deposited approximately $8
million therein - naming her children, their spouses, her
grandchildren and herself as beneficiaries. In 2012, the
Trust had a gross declared value of $9, 488, 494.00. The
record reflects that Janet maintained approximately $1
million from the award and used the funds to set up the
testified that she is only permitted to use Trust
distributions for educational or medical expenses. Thus, any
funds disbursed for purposes unrelated to the same would
require Janet to reimburse the Trust. Here, Janet testified
that she requested, and received, Trust funds to cover
ordinary living expenses.
allegations of infidelity, the parties separated and Janet
filed for divorce. By that time, Michael had already moved
out of the marital home and into an apartment in Texas with
his mistress. While the parties were separated, Michael
continued to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance on the
properties, with the exception of the Alabama lot. Janet
covered the maintenance and repair expenses, and she received
the rental income generated ...