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Social Security Benefits Can Be Considered As Income for the Purposes Of Awarding And Calculating Alimony

December 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Uncategorized



In Nicholson v. Nicholson, the Second District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida ruled that the trial court was under the misimpression that it could not consider the Husband’s Social Security income for the purposes of alimony.  To the contrary under the applicable Florida Statutes income is defined to include any form of payment including disability benefits and payments from the federal or state government.

The Court stated:

61.046(8), Florida Statutes (2014), provides that “[i]ncome” means any form of payment to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to: wages, salary, commissions and bonuses, compensation as an independent contractor, worker’s compensation, disability benefits, annuity and retirement benefits, pensions, dividends, interest, royalties, trusts, and any other payments, made by any person, private entity, federal or state government, or any unit of local government. And specifically, social security benefits may be considered income for purposes of calculating alimony. Baker v. Baker, 419 So. 2d 735, 736 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); see also Boone v. Boone, 3 So. 3d 403, 405 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (considering both parties’ social security benefits as income in calculating alimony). Accordingly, we reverse and remand for the court to reconsider the amount of the alimony award in light of this opinion and hold another hearing if necessary. Cf. Winewica v. Winewica, 436 So. 2d 271, 271 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983) (reversing for another hearing on the amount of alimony to be awarded where the trial court “labored under the misapprehension that the appellee’s federal pension could not be considered in awarding alimony”).


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