Rykiel v. Rykiel case brief summary
838 So. 2D 508 (2003)
Respondent husband sought review of the
final judgment in a divorce proceeding. The Fifth District Court of
Appeal (Florida) reversed the trial court. Petitioner wife sought
review before the supreme court, claiming conflict with the language
of the Third District Court of Appeal in Almodovar. The husband asked
that the supreme court take judicial notice of the amended final
judgment and dismiss this case. The wife opposed the motion.
FACTS The trial court had ordered that the
award of permanent periodic alimony be nontaxable to the receiving
party, the former wife. The Fifth District construed the internal
revenue code provisions and treasury regulation to mean that a
divorce court did not have the authority to order that alimony be
nontaxable to the receiving party.
The supreme court held that
construction was inconsistent with Former I.R.C. §§ 63, 71
(2001). and Temp. Treas. Reg. 1.71-1T.
A divorce decree could provide
that alimony payments were to be excluded from the gross income of
the payee and not deducted by the payor.
In such a case, the payments
did not constitute "alimony" for tax purposes, were not
included in the gross income of the recipient, and were nontaxable to
Contrary to the holding of the Fifth District, nothing
in the above provisions prevented a trial court from ordering that
alimony payments were to be excluded from the gross income of the
payee and not deducted by the payor.
CONCLUSION The supreme court took judicial notice
of the amended final judgment but declined to dismiss the case. It
quashed the judgment of the lower appellate court.
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