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Florida Bar Journal

Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony: 10 Years Later

Family Law

R ehabilitative alimony is a tool used by courts to allow a former spouse to “establish the capacity for self-support … either through the redevelopment of previous skills or provision of the training necessary to develop potential supportive skills.”1 A n award of rehabilitative alimony should be based on a consideration of the factors set forth in F.S. §61.08. It is clear that some statutory factors carry more weight than others when the issue of rehabilitative alimony is before the court; however, there are factors not mentioned in §61.08 that can also influence a court in its rehabilitative alimony decisions.

Ten years ago, appellate court trends in both permanent alimony awards and rehabilitative alimony awards were examined.2 D uring this time, many cases have been decided which require a second look at the trends.3 T his article will examine decisions on rehabilitative alimony during the past 10 years.4 T his article addresses the cases and trends emerging since 1997 and only addresses initial awards of rehabilitative alimony, not modification proceedings.

The Chart
A chart addressing Florida cases decided in the last 10 years where the court provided an analysis of why it either affirmed or reversed an award of rehabilitative alimony is available by email request to [email protected] (This chart is divided into two main sections: Cases in which the rehabilitative award was affirmed and cases in which the rehabilitative award was reversed. Within each of these two sections the cases are organized by district and in reverse chronological order. Some of the cases are highlighted in either blue, green, or red. The blue cases represent those in which permanent alimony was also awarded; the green cases are those in which an award of bridge the gap alimony was discussed; and the red cases are those in which the rehabilitative alimony was denied because the marriage did not harm the employability of the recipient spouse.)

Background
Canakaris v. Canakaris, 328 So. 2d 1297 (Fla. 1980), is the seminal case on alimony awards in Florida. Besides defining the purpose of rehabilitative awards, the Canakaris court established that awards of alimony should not be based on inflexible rules that prevent courts from doing justice between the parties.5 This flexibility is what allows appellate courts to go beyond §61.08 when deciding if a spouse is entitled to an award of rehabilitative alimony. Section 61.08 allows trial courts to consider any relevant factor when fashioning awards of alimony.6 Although appellate courts making decisions on rehabilitative awards look for specific requirements to be met before affirming a rehabilitative alimony award, as the following analysis will illustrate, there is more than one way to influence the court.

Rehabilitative Plans
Ten years ago it was clear that the most important factor in fashioning a rehabilitative alimony award was the presentation of a rehabilitative plan.7 This still holds true. The most effective way to ensure an award of rehabilitative alimony is to present a detailed, written plan to the court specifying the client’s roadmap toward employability. Supporting this assertion is the fact that in 17 of the 49 cases (35 percent) we reviewed, an award of rehabilitative alimony was reversed or denied based solely on the absence of factual findings or the failure of the recipient spouse to present a valid rehabilitative plan.8

There are no specific rules regarding what should be included in a rehabilitative plan, and a rehabilitative plan may be oral or written.9 Even the cases in which the court focuses on the sufficiency of the rehabilitative plan are decided based on different aspects of the plan. However, a few cases provide particularly good illustrations of what to consider when structuring a rehabilitative plan. For instance, in Hausdorff v. Hausdorff, 913 So. 2d 1267, 1268 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005), the Fourth District Court affirmed a rehabilitative award in which the rehabilitative plan included the specific school the wife would attend, her intended degree, the estimated cost of tuition and textbooks, and that the husband’s obligation to fund the rehabilitation would expire in four years. The court found this plan to be sufficient to support the trial court’s award of rehabilitative alimony.10

Alternatively, in Ingram v. Ingram, 750 So. 2d 130, 131 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998), the Second District Court reversed an award of rehabilitative alimony for a wife who already had a college degree and requested rehabilitative alimony in order to earn an MBA. The wife had not yet taken the necessary admissions test and was planning on taking courses at a more expensive private university rather than a less expensive public university.11 This plan did not contain many specifics and had elements that indicated to the court the wife was less than serious about being rehabilitated.12

The difference between these two cases, on their faces, is the level of detail in the plans and the perceived motivations of the spouses seeking rehabilitation. Ultimately, the plan must show that the requesting spouse will be able to earn more money after the rehabilitation period so that he or she will be at least partially self-supporting.13

Length of Marriage
The length of a marriage is an enumerated factor in §61.08,14 yet it is not a crucial factor when arguing for or against an award of rehabilitative alimony.15 However, in a long- term marriage, in order to obtain a combined award of permanent and rehabilitative alimony, there must be evidence that the recipient spouse can actually be rehabilitated to be, at least partially, self-sufficient.16 In order to determine if a spouse can be rehabilitated, a court will consider the impact of the marriage on the career, employability, or the self-sufficiency of the receiving spouse. So, while the length of the marriage itself is not a crucial factor, it may be relevant to the impact of the marriage on the receiving spouse’s ability to become self-supporting.

The impact of a marriage on the career, employability, or self-sufficiency of a spouse is easily understood by envisioning a spouse who either gave up or postponed a career or education to benefit the other spouse, or a spouse who has been out of the job market for so long that he or she needs education or retraining before reentering the workforce. This is usually the result of the recipient spouse having spent a significant period of time caring for children or supporting the other spouse in advancing his or her career.

Many cases address the issue of a spouse postponing or interrupting a career or education. For example, in Alpha v. Alpha, 885 So. 2d 1023 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004), the Fifth District affirmed a rehabilitative award when, during the marriage, the wife abandoned her goal of becoming a social worker in order to work in the husband’s insurance office. The court reasoned that, even though the wife held two insurance licenses, she should be able to pursue the career of her choice.17 The Fifth District has approved awards of rehabilitative alimony in multiple other cases when a wife supported a husband throughout his career rather than pursue one of her own.18 In Knoff v. Knoff, 751 So. 2d 167 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000), the Second District reached the same result in a case in which the husband and wife agreed that the wife would give up her career in order to stay home with the children. In Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003), the Fifth District also awarded rehabilitative alimony in a case in which a wife stayed home with the children throughout the seven-year marriage and, thus, needed assistance to reenter the workforce. In Young v. Hector, 740 So. 2d 1153 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998), the Third District reached a similar result in a case in which the husband needed to update his job skills in order to return to work as an architect. All of these cases have different facts, yet they all reach the same result in awarding rehabilitative alimony to a spouse who needs assistance in becoming self-sufficient.

Conversely, almost every district has found that a spouse should not receive rehabilitative alimony if the marriage did not impact the ability of the spouse to be self-supporting.19 When arguing for or against rehabilitative alimony, you will be more effective if you focus on whether the marriage impacted the employability of the spouse rather than emphasizing the length of the marriage. This trend is illustrated by the cases highlighted in red on the chart. In Landow v. Landow, 824 So. 2d 278 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002), the wife sought rehabilitative alimony in connection with the dissolution of her five-year marriage. In denying her request, the appellate court reasoned that her business did not suffer as a result of the marriage.20 Another case from the Fourth District, Bode v. Bode, 920 So. 2d 841 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006), also illustrates this point as the court denied an award of rehabilitative alimony in a less than two-year marriage to a wife who left a good paying job in another country. The court reasoned that, despite her move to the United States, there was no evidence that the marriage harmed her employability.21 The Fifth District reached the same result in Rivers v. Rivers, 785 So. 2d 752 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001), as it affirmed the denial of rehabilitative alimony in a three and a half-year marriage to a wife whose employability did not suffer from the marriage.

In Ingram, the Second District did not state that rehabilitative alimony should not be awarded without a showing of harm to a spouse’s employability, but the court did reject an award to a spouse who earned a college degree during the marriage. This outcome indicates that some negative impact of the marriage must be shown in order to get rehabilitative alimony. In two cases, Sutton v. Hart, 746 So. 2d 1175 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999), and Sierra v. Sierra, 776 So. 2d 966 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000), the Third District denied rehabilitative alimony to wives who, after short-term marriages, sought to continue their educations. In both cases the court reasoned that neither had suffered any harm to their employability as a result of the marriages.22

This pattern of short-term marriages resulting in the denial of rehabilitative alimony should not be seen as a complete bar to rehabilitative alimony in the dissolution of a short-term marriage. Even in a very short-term marriage, it may be possible to obtain a rehabilitative award if there was some harm caused by the marriage to the recipient spouse’s ability to become self-supporting.23

Age of Recipient Spouse
The age of the recipient spouse is not a primary factor in the determination of an award of rehabilitative alimony. If the age of the recipient spouse was a primary factor, it would be difficult to explain why awards are approved for both 45-year-olds24 and 29-year-olds.25 In fact, many of the cases examined for this article do not even provide the ages of the spouses, and the other factors present in those cases were clearly viewed by the court as more significant.26 One of these factors is the ability of the recipient spouse to be rehabilitated. In Cleary v. Cleary, 872 So. 2d 299 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004), the Second District awarded rehabilitative alimony to a 44-year-old wife when the husband presented evidence that she could be retrained to go back into her field. While no case states that age directly correlates with one’s ability to be rehabilitated, common sense tells us that there is a valid argument that an older spouse may not be able to be rehabilitated to the point of even partial self-sufficiency.

Disparity of Income
Disparity of income is another factor that a court may consider in connection with an award of rehabilitative alimony. Some decisions reference income disparity as a factor to be considered before awarding or denying rehabilitative alimony. In Cardillo v. Cardillo, 707 So. 2d 350 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998), the Second District reversed a rehabilitative award in favor of permanent alimony when the court found that “even with retraining, the wife will only make a salary that is one-fifth of that enjoyed by the husband.” Note that there were other factors contributing to this decision, including the parties’ two minor children and the fact that the husband benefited from the wife staying at home.27 The Fifth District also referenced income disparity in Alpha v. Alpha, 885 So. 2d at 1031 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004), as it acknowledged that the trial court’s finding that the husband’s net monthly income was almost 20 times higher than the wife’s supported an award of rehabilitative alimony. Although income disparity is not a major factor when making a decision on a rehabilitative alimony award, the basic requirement that the payor has the ability to pay the alimony requested makes evidence of income disparity important nonetheless.28

Children
In marriages when one party stays home to raise children, courts are prone to awarding permanent rather than rehabilitative alimony. In Cardillo, 707 So. 2d at 351, and Knoff, 751 So. 2d 167, the Second District held that when one spouse foregoes a career for a long period of time in order to stay home to raise children, permanent alimony is more appropriate than rehabilitative alimony. In both of those cases, the parties were married for approximately 14 years and the wives stayed home to care for the children for nine of those 14 years.29

However, a spouse staying home to care for children may support a rehabilitative award due to interruption of that spouse’s career or education. This concept was illustrated in Williams v. Williams, 904 So. 2d 488 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005), when the Third District held that an award of rehabilitative alimony was more appropriate than an award of permanent or bridge the gap alimony for a wife who stayed home and raised children for over 10 years. The court’s reasoning was that the parties were fairly young (37) and that the wife had no education or skills and she had become a homemaker after the birth of the first child.30 In Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295, the Fifth District found that a wife who stayed home during the entirety of a seven-year marriage to take care of two children, one with special needs, was entitled to rehabilitative rather than permanent alimony. The court reasoned that, even though the wife was caring for a special needs child which may justify a permanent alimony award, the wife presented a sufficient rehabilitative plan which permitted the trial court to properly deny permanent alimony in this short-term marriage.31

These cases indicate that other factors are more likely to influence the type of alimony awarded. Even a pregnant mother of three who fails to present a rehabilitative plan and who fails to present sufficient evidence of her entitlement to other types of alimony will not be awarded alimony simply because she has children to care for.32

Health of Recipient Spouse
The poor mental or physical health of the recipient spouse generally precludes a rehabilitative award due to the attendant lack of ability to be rehabilitated.33 However, courts may award rehabilitative alimony to a spouse with health problems if there is evidence that he or she can become at least partially self-supporting.34 Courts will most likely not consider the poor health of a spouse if the health conditions existed prior to the marriage.35

The classic example of a spouse in poor health receiving permanent alimony rather than rehabilitative alimony was illustrated by the Fifth District in Bracero v. Bracero, 849 So. 2d 388 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003). The court approved an award of permanent alimony to a wife, even though the husband claimed that rehabilitative was more appropriate.36 The wife in that case suffered from chronic allergies and other medical problems that caused her to experience fatigue and tiredness.37 She had only a high school education and no recent employment.38 The appellate court found that, while some income should be imputed to the wife, the wife’s poor health and lack of marketable skills supported the award of permanent alimony over rehabilitative alimony.39

The Fifth District also decided Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003), in which the wife’s health was impaired due to serious illnesses. The appellate court affirmed trial court’s denial of permanent alimony, but remanded for the consideration of the wife’s oral rehabilitation plan.40 The interesting aspect of this case is that it was the wife with poor health who requested rehabilitation.41 However, a look at her plan indicates that she only planned to take one class per semester due to her impaired health and her obligations to her children.42 A close reading of this case reveals the possibility that the appellate court could not find that the trial court abused its discretion in denying permanent alimony in this seven-year marriage, but nonetheless believed that this wife was entitled to some type of alimony and, thus, awarded her rehabilitative alimony for an extended period of time.

There is a notable lack of analysis in recent case law on the issue of the health of the recipient spouse as it relates to an award of rehabilitative alimony. Rather, this factor is again secondary to the two most important factors, the rehabilitative plan and the impact of the marriage on the employability of the recipient spouse.

Agreements
Ten years ago the cases addressing agreements between spouses for one person to stay home with the children or simply not to work seemed to persuade courts to make alimony awards that respected those agreements.43 Today, courts may or may not allow an agreement of the spouses to control whether rehabilitative alimony is awarded.

In Alpha v. Alpha, 885 So. 2d 1023 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004), the Fifth District found that when a wife agreed to obtain two insurance licenses and work in the husband’s business rather than pursue her goal of becoming a social worker, that rehabilitative alimony was appropriate to allow the wife to reach her goals after the divorce. This same conclusion was reached in Rowl v. Rowl, 864 So. 2d 1236 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004), in a marriage in which the wife agreed to follow the husband and be a homemaker while the husband was in the Navy.44 These cases are examples of agreements made during the marriage that failed to convince the court to award permanent alimony.

In other cases, appellate courts have required trial courts to consider agreements between spouses when determining whether permanent or rehabilitative alimony is more appropriate. In both Walker v. Walker, 818 So. 2d 711 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002), and Cardillo v. Cardillo, 707 So. 2d 350 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998), the Second District found that when the parties agreed that the wife would stay home and care for the children, a trial court must make findings to indicate whether rehabilitative or permanent alimony is appropriate to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. In Knoff v. Knoff, 751 So. 2d 167 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000), this consideration led the Second District to its holding that permanent alimony is more appropriate than rehabilitative for a wife who agrees to care for the children while the husband advances his career.

The holding in Blanchard v. Blanchard, 793 So. 2d 989 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001), is an example of certain agreements between spouses being completely discounted when awarding alimony. The Blanchard court held that when husband and wife agreed for the husband to attempt a new, less lucrative profession, the husband was not entitled to rehabilitative or bridge the gap alimony after the parties decided to divorce.45

Courts may consider agreements between the parties when fashioning rehabilitative awards. However, the decisions in these cases can actually be tied to other factors, such as the impact of the marriage on the employability of the recipient spouse. Thus, mutual decisions made during the marriage are not likely to dictate the type of alimony awarded at the time of the divorce.

Marital Standard of Living
The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage may impact the decision of whether to award rehabilitative alimony. However, it is a minor factor. When a court considers the marital standard of living as relevant to a rehabilitative award, the standard of living generally requires a rehabilitative award high enough to maintain a standard of living similar to that experienced during the longer, gray area marriage.46

The classic example of the marital standard of living impacting an award of rehabilitative alimony is illustrated by a fairly long marriage with a high standard of living resulting in a permanent award rather than a rehabilitative award. In Mobley v. Mobley, 778 So. 2d 343 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001), the First District decided a case in which the parties were married for approximately 13 years and lived only on the husband’s income. The court found that when reconsidering the alimony award on remand, the trial court must award sufficient permanent alimony to maintain the wife at the standard of living experienced during the marriage.47 This holding also took into consideration the wife’s poor health and her failure to present a rehabilitative plan.48 Nonetheless, the court’s ruling that only permanent alimony should be considered indicates that rehabilitative alimony is generally not sufficient to maintain the standard of living experienced during a marriage.

Other cases indicate that the marital standard of living may be sustained through an award of rehabilitative alimony. In Young v. Hector, 740 So. 2d 1153 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999), the Third District indicated that in a longer, gray area marriage (13 years) the marital standard of living is relevant to a rehabilitative award when permanent alimony is denied. The court found that permanent alimony was properly denied, but the award of rehabilitative alimony was inadequate to cover all of the expenses of rehabilitation and to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage.49 In Yitzhari v. Yitzhari, 906 So. 2d 1250 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005), the court further indicated that in a gray area marriage in which a high standard of living was experienced, a court must consider both permanent and rehabilitative alimony. Similarly, in Walker, 818 So. 2d at 713, the Second District found that an alimony award, whether permanent or rehabilitative, should ensure that a spouse maintains a lifestyle “reasonably commensurate with the marital lifestyle” both during and after a rehabilitative period. Again, this was a 12-year, gray area marriage.50

For rehabilitative alimony purposes, the standard of living experienced during the marriage is most relevant in longer, gray area marriages when permanent alimony is not awarded.

Bridge the Gap Alimony
Bridge the gap alimony is closely related to rehabilitative alimony in both form and function. The purpose of bridge the gap alimony is to “assist a spouse with any legitimate, identifiable, short-term need under circumstances where a lump sum award is reasonable and when the other spouse has the ability to pay the award.”51 While both awards assist a spouse in making the change from married life to single life, bridge the gap is used for shorter transitional periods.

The first district court to approve of the use of alimony to bridge the gap was the Fourth District in Murray v. Murray, 374 So. 2d 622 (Fla. 4th DCA 1979). The court found that a “short period of rehabilitative alimony sufficient to ‘bridge the gap’ between the high standard of living enjoyed during the brief marriage and the more modest standard that the wife can provide for herself” was appropriate in a seven-month marriage.52 The next court to expressly recognize this type of award was the Third District in Iribar v. Iribar, 510 So. 2d 1023 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987). This court also labeled a short award of alimony in order to assist the wife in transitioning from married to single life as a bridge the gap type of rehabilitative award.53 In 1988, the First District mentioned bridging the gap as a consideration in fashioning alimony awards;54 however, three years later, the court expressly recognized that a bridge the gap award could serve the purpose of helping a spouse transition to single life.55 This court also viewed a bridge the gap award as a type of rehabilitative alimony.56 In 1994, the Second District seemed to make a distinction between rehabilitative alimony and bridge the gap alimony in Zelahi v. Zelahi, 646 So. 2d 278 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). In reversing a trial court’s rehabilitative award, the appellate court directed that the award must be supported by findings of a plan for rehabilitation.57 An award issued without these findings must have been the trial judge’s attempt to bridge the gap.58 These cases and their progeny established bridge the gap alimony as a viable option in situations when a spouse needed help to transition from married to single life. However, it was not until very recently that the Fifth District Court also approved this type of award.

In March 2007, in Price v. Price, 951 So. 2d 55, 59 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007), the Fifth District Court recognized a trial court’s frustration at not having an avenue to make a short-term alimony award to assist the wife in transitioning to single life. The court examined three possible legal justifications for an award of bridge the gap alimony, and found that a bridge the gap award could be viewed as a type of rehabilitative award; a lump sum award being paid in installments to assist during the post-divorce transition; or as a tool necessary to do equity between the parties, as permitted in §61.08.59 The court made clear that it was time to recede from its previous precedent of disapproving all bridge the gap awards,60 and while it did not expressly overrule its prior precedent, it expressed its belief that a majority of the Fifth District would agree to reconsider the issue.61

Rehabilitative alimony and bridge the gap alimony meet a similar need for transitional support. Arguments in favor of bridge the gap alimony may bolster an argument for rehabilitative alimony in convincing the court that the potential recipient spouse is in need of transitional assistance, but may also hinder a request for rehabilitative alimony by exhibiting to a judge that only a short period of help is needed to transition. Bridge the gap alimony plays an increasingly important role in the alimony arena. It should be considered by counsel for both the payors and recipients as a means either to limit the amount of alimony the client will pay for a transition period or to ensure that the client gets some assistance during the transition from married to single life.

Conclusion
This area of law is now fairly settled.62 The same trends that emerged in the article on this topic 10 years ago are still present today, only more defined. The two most important factors are the presentation of a specific plan and a showing that the marriage has impacted the employability of the recipient spouse. It is now clear that without a specific, realistic, and valid rehabilitation plan, rehabilitative alimony will not be awarded. It is important to emphasize either the presence or absence of these two factors while acknowledging the additional relevant factors in your argument for or against an award of rehabilitative alimony. q

1 Canakaris v. Canakaris, 382 So. 2d 1197, 1202 (Fla. 1980) (citing Reback v. Reback, 296 So. 2d 541 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1974)).

2 Victoria Ho & Janiece Martin, Appellate Court Trends in Permanent Alimony for “Grey Area” Divorces, 71 Fla. B.J. 60 (Oct. 1997); Victoria Ho & James F. Caudill, Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony, 72 Fla. B.J. 65 (Mar. 1998).

3 See Victoria M. Ho & Stephanie A. Sussman, Appellate Court Trends in Permanent Alimony for “Gray Area” Divorces: 1997 – 2007, 82 Fla. B.J. 4 (April 2008).

4 So that this article may be used as a continuation of Ms. Ho’s previous article on this subject, it has been organized by the factors appellate courts consider when affirming or reversing rehabilitative alimony awards. These analyses are offered to the reader not as absolutes, but as a means by which to organize arguments either for or against an award of rehabilitative alimony.

5 Canakaris v. Cakanaras, 382 So. 2d 1197, 1200 (Fla. 1980).

6 “The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.” Fla. Stat. §61.08(2) (2006).

7 Victoria Ho & James F. Caudill, Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony, 72 Fla. B.J. 65, 65-66 (Mar. 1998).

8 Pavese v. Pavese, 932 So. 2d 1269 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2006); Baig v. Baig, 917 So. 2d 379 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2005); Kalmanson v. Kalmanson, 796 So. 2d 1249 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2001); Hill v. Hooten, 776 So. 2d 1004 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2001); Westberry v. Westberry, 777 So. 2d 1087 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2001); Miner v. Miner, 727 So. 2d 1080 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1999); Beasely v. Beasely, 717 So. 2d 208 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1998); Weller v. Weller, 709 So. 2d 646 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1998); Fullerton v. Fullerton, 709 So. 2d 162 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1998); Blase v. Blase, 704 So. 2d 741 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1998); Calderon v. Calderon, 730 So. 2d 400 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1999); Weintraub v. Weintraub, 864 So. 2d 22 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2003); Walker v. Walker, 818 So. 2d 711 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2002); Cozier v. Cozier, 819 So. 2d 834 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2002); Rivers v. Rivers, 785 So. 2d 752 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2001); Bryan v. Bryan, 765 So. 2d 829 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 2000); Vitalis v. Vitalis, 799 So. 2d 1127 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2001).

9 The Fifth District initially held that rehabilitative plans should be in writing; however, the court has since held that rehabilitative plans may be oral or written. Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295, 299 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2003) (citing Brock v. Brock, 682 So. 2d 682 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1996); Calderon v. Calderon, 730 So. 2d 400 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1999); Beasley v. Beasley, 717 So. 2d 208, 209 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1998)).

10 Hausdorff v. Hausdorff, 913 So. 2d 1267, 1268 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2005).

11 Ingram v. Ingram, 750 So. 2d 130, 131 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1998).

12 Id.

13 Borchard v. Borchard, 730 So. 2d 748 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1999); Rowl v. Rowl, 864 So. 2d 1236 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2004); Weintraub v. Weintraub, 864 So. 2d 22 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2003); Blanchard v. Blanchard, 793 So. 2d 989 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2001).

14 Fla. Stat. §61.08(2)(b).

15 Victoria Ho & James F. Caudill, Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony, 72 Fla. B.J. 65, 66 (Mar. 1998).

16 Sharon v. Sharon, 862 So. 2d 789 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2003); Young v. Hector, 740 So. 2d 1153 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1998); Barner v. Barner, 716 So. 2d 795 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1998); Cozier v. Cozier, 819 So. 2d 834 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2002); Williams v. Williams, 904 So. 2d 488 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2005); Vitalis v. Vitalis, 799 So. 2d 1127 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2001); Rowland v. Rowland, 868 So. 2d 608 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2004); Knoff v. Knoff, 751 So. 2d 167 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2000); Cardillo v. Cardillo, 707 So. 2d 350 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1998).

17 Alpha v. Alpha, 885 So. 2d. 1023, 1032 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2004).

18 Rowl v. Rowl, 864 So. 2d 1236 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2004); Short v. Short, 747 So. 2d 411 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1999).

19 Landow v. Landow, 824 So. 2d 278 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2002); Bode v. Bode, 920 So. 2d 841 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2006); Rivers v. Rivers, 785 So. 2d 752 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2001); Ingram v. Ingram, 750 So. 2d 130 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2000); Sierra v. Sierra, 776 So. 2d 966 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2000); Sutton v. Hart, 746 So. 2d 1175 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1999).

20 Landow v. Landow, 824 So. 2d 278, 279 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2002).

21 Bode v. Bode, 920 So. 2d 841, 844 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2006).

22 Sutton v. Hart, 746 So. 2d 1175 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1999); Sierra v. Sierra, 776 So. 2d 966 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2000).

23 Martire v. Martire, 792 So. 2d 631 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2001) (awarding rehabilitative alimony in a less than one-year marriage when the wife came to the United States from Russia and, thus, needed help adjusting to single life here).

24 Rowland v. Rowland, 868 So. 2d 608 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2004).

25 Yitzhari v. Yitzhari, 906 So. 2d 1250 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2005).

26 But see Williams v. Williams, 904 So. 2d 488 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2005) (indicating that the youth of the wife was a factor weighing against awarding her rehabilitative alimony).

27 Cardillo v. Cardillo, 707 So. 2d 350 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1998).

28 See Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295, 299 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2003).

29 Cardillo v Cardillo, 707 So. 2d 350, 351 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1998); Knoff v. Knoff, 751 So. 2d 167 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2000).

30 Williams v. Williams, 904 So. 2d 488, 491 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2005).

31 Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295, 298 (Fla 5th D.C.A. 2003).

32 See Calderon v. Calderon, 730 So. 2d 400 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1999).

33 Victoria Ho & James F. Caudill, Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony, 72 Fla. B.J. 65, 68 (Mar. 1998); Mobley v. Mobley, 778 So. 2d 343 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 2001).

34 See Sharon v. Sharon, 862 So. 2d 789 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2003).

35 See, e.g., Saporito v. Saporito, 831 So. 2d 697 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2002).

36 Bracero v. Bracero, 849 So. 2d 388, 389-90 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2003).

37 Id.

38 Id.

39 Id.

40 Layeni v. Layeni, 843 So. 2d 295, 298-99 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2003).

41 Id.
42 Id.

43 Victoria Ho & James F. Caudill, Appellate Court Trends in Rehabilitative Alimony, 72 Fla. B.J. 65, 68-69 (Mar. 1998).

44 See also Short v. Short, 747 So. 2d 411 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1999) (remanding for an award of rehabilitative alimony for a wife who interrupted her education to allow the husband to pursue his).

45 Blanchard v. Blanchard, 793 So. 2d 989 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2001).

46 Young v. Hector, 740 So. 2d 1153 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1998); Rowl v. Rowl, 864 So. 2d 1236 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2004).

47 Mobley v. Mobley, 778 So. 2d 343, 345 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 2001).

48 Id. at 344-45.

49 Young v. Hector, 740 So. 2d 1153, 1158 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1998).

50 Walker v. Walker, 818 So. 2d 711, 713 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2002).

51 Borchard v. Borchard, 730 So. 2d 748, 753 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1999).

52 Murray v. Murray, 374 So. 2d 622, 624 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 1979).

53 Iribar v. Iribar, 510 So. 2d 1023, 1024 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1987).

54 Whitley v. Whitley, 535 So. 2d 623, 624 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1988).

55 Shea v. Shea, 572 So. 2d 558 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1991).

56 Id. at 559-60.

57 Zelahi v.Zelahi,, 646 So. 2d 278, 279 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1994).

58 Id.

59 Price v. Price, 951 So. 2d 55, 60 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 2007).

60 Id.

61 Id. at 61.

62 During the past 10 years the number of appellate decisions providing an analysis of rehabilitative alimony has declined from between four and six decisions in 1998 through 2004, to only one decision in 2006 and zero decisions in 2007.

Family Law