Legal Memorandum: Income for Calculating Child Support and Alimony

Issue: Under Florida law, can the gifts from a husband’s parents which were used to maintain the family’s standard of living be imputed to husband as income for the purposes of calculating child support and alimony?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Calculating the income; Determining alimony and child support; Gifts as "continuing and ongoing"
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 701 So. 2d 663; 560 So. 2d 403; 696 So. 2d 1186; 656 So. 2d 206
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2000

Florida case law supports the proposition that gifts made to either party in a divorce can be used in calculating the income attributable to that party for the purposes of determining alimony and child support.  See Ordini v. Ordini, 701 So. 2d 663 (Fla. App. 4 Dist. 1997); Uthe v. Uthe (Fla. App. 4 Dist. May 27, 1998).  However, case law strongly suggests that such gifts should only be included if they are likely to continue into the future.  Ordini, 701 So. 2d at 664-66; Uthe, supra

There are many cases in which gifts of cash and other items of value, made prior to and during the divorce proceedings, were included in the recipient’s income for calculating child support, alimony, or both.  See, e.g., Garcia v. Garcia, 560 So. 2d 403, 404 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1990) (husband received housing, car and other expenses through family business while wife received free housing from husband’s father); Cooper v. Kahn, 696 So. 2d 1186, 1188 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1997) (wife’s mother paid wife’s rent, car expenses and other bills ); Ordini, 701 So. 2d 663; Uthe supra.  There are also several cases in which gifts made in the past were not imputed as income.  See, e.g., Bob v. Bob, 310 So. 2d 328 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1975); Sol v. Sol,  656 So. 2d 206 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1995); Shively v. […]

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