Category: Family Law Appeals Blog
Subject: Effect of Future Inheritance on Alimony Award
By: Erin, Senior Attorney, De Novo Review
May a future or potential inheritance be considered as a basis to petition for a modification of alimony?
Yes. In Wiesenfeld v. Wiesenfeld, 95 So. 3d 959, 960-61 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012), the court considered the fact the former wife was to receive a substantial inheritance from her parent to conclude she would become self-supportive. See also Selembo v. Selembo, 591 So. 2d 1112, 1113 (Fla. 2d DCA 1992) (concluding that former wife’s receiving a large inheritance constituted a substantial change in circumstances, which justified the court terminating her permanent periodic alimony).
The general consensus among the district courts of appeal, however, is that speculative inheritances are not proper for inclusion in alimony awards. See, e.g., Squindo v. Osuna-Squindo, 943 So. 2d 232, 235 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) (stating “that the former husband may receive a future inheritance from his family is also an irrelevant consideration for his ability to pay alimony to the former wife”); Brock v. Brock, 690 So. 2d 737, 742 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997) (wherein the court concluded the trial judge did not abuse its discretion where it had elected not to consider the former husband’s substantial potential inheritance from his father, but noted that if the potential inheritance indeed became a reality, the “inheritance could serve as a basis for modification of the alimony award”).
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