Should Savings and Investment Funds Be Used In Alimony Valuation ?
In Firestone v. Firestone, 263 So. 2d 223 (Fla. 1972), the marital lifestyle was described:
[D]uring the marriage of these parties, and prior to their separation, the wife was afforded numerous privileges, such as: a $ 3,000.00 per month allowance to spend as she desired; clothing allowances of approximately $ 5,000.00 per month; the use of various automobiles, as well as the use of an airplane and helicopter at any time.
To say the least the luxuries shared by these parties during cohabitation would equal the splendor of many of the sultans out of "Arabian Nights." Id. at 226.
More ordinary lifestyle needs may include the mortgage and maintenance costs on a townhouse in which an ex-spouse resides, having a reliable automobile, being able to have broken kitchen appliances fixed, or to be able to afford food, clothing, and air conditioning. See Bedell v. Bedell, 583 So. 2d 1005, 1008 (Fla. 1991).
A common denominator in these different lifestyles or needs is that the amount of money spent or the comforts enjoyed do not include funds allocated towards the stated purpose of saving or investing.
Items customarily considered as marital assets for the purpose of determining permanent alimony reflect the parties' history of consumption-whether on luxuries or on the literal necessities of life.
Current necessary support rather than the accumulation of capital is the purpose of permanent periodic alimony. See Rosen v. Rosen, 696 So. 2d 697, 703 (Fla. 1997).
In Boyett v. Boyett, 703 So. 2d 451 (Fla. 1997), the Court was called upon to value a retirement plan for distribution purposes and held, pursuant to the definition of marital assets, that the valuation of the plan should not include contributions made after the original judgment of dissolution. See id. at 452.