Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rykiel v. Rykiel case brief

Rykiel v. Rykiel case brief summary
838 So. 2D 508 (2003)


CASE SYNOPSIS
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.

CASE 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.

DISCUSSION

  • 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 the recipient. 
  • 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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