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Cura v. Cura

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

January 2, 2020

Peter Cura, Appellant,
v.
Faye Cura, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An appeal from a non-final order from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 16-4601 Sarah I. Zabel, Judge.

          Bushell Law, P.A., and Daniel A. Bushell (Fort Lauderdale), for appellant.

          Faye Cura, in proper person.

          Before SCALES, LINDSEY, and MILLER, JJ.

          MILLER, J.

         Appellant, the husband, challenges a non-final order awarding temporary child support and alimony in dissolution proceedings pending in the lower tribunal. On appeal, the husband contends the trial court abused its discretion in imputing income, premised upon voluntary unemployment, and awarding temporary and retroactive support. We affirm the order under review in all respects, save the award of retroactive alimony.

         FACTS AND BACKGROUND

         In June of 2014, after seventeen years of marriage and amidst renovations of a home in Miami-Dade County, the parties separated. At the time, the wife and three minor children of the marriage were temporarily residing with the husband's mother in Palm Beach County. The wife secured her own living quarters, and on February 24, 2016, filed a petition for dissolution. Thereafter, she sought an award of temporary alimony and child support for the parties' three children, on an emergency basis.

         The lower tribunal duly convened a multi-day evidentiary hearing, wherein the wife adduced evidence of a formerly lavish lifestyle. She detailed the husband's serial acquisition of luxury vehicles, exotic vacations, successful global business conquests, purchase of numerous pieces of jewelry adorned with precious stones, provision of private schooling for the children, and accumulation of significant wealth, along with an array of gold and silver bars.

         During the hearing, the court was apprised that, immediately prior to their uncoupling, the parties sold a valuable parcel of jointly owned real property. Shortly after the separation, the husband conveyed a second parcel of real property to his mother and purportedly encumbered a third parcel of property, held in trust, with an appreciable mortgage, for the benefit of a confidant. The husband also liquidated several investments, including overseas holdings. Nonetheless, he was unable to offer an explanation as to the whereabouts of any of the proceeds garnered from this series of transactions.

         The husband asserted he was wholly dependent upon his mother and lacked any access to either tenable employment or financial resources. The wife countered that the husband continued to enjoy a substantial lifestyle, consisting of travel, private flight lessons, and the retention of an extensive collection of luxury goods. She further contended he was the recipient of regular, periodic gifts from his mother and was intentionally unemployed in a calculated effort to circumvent future court-ordered obligations and persisted in dissipating marital assets by squandering funds on his paramour.

         The wife described her own vocational adversities, precipitated by the confiscation of her motor vehicle, at the hands of her mother-in-law. Additionally, the wife testified she was compelled to leverage her personal property in order to finance legal representation and seek advances from her employer to secure housing for herself and the children.

         At the conclusion of the hearing, the lower tribunal issued detailed factual findings, giving credence to the testimony of the wife and wholly discrediting the husband, and imputed a modest income to the husband. The court further awarded temporary alimony in the amount of $2, 000.00 per month and temporary child support in the amount of $152.08 per month. Both alimony and child ...


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