In a Florida divorce proceeding, the trial court has broad discretion “to do equity between the parties.” Acker v. Acker, 904 So. 2d 384, 388 (Fla. 2005). To “do equity” means to do what the court determines is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. To achieve this goal, the trial court has at its disposal several equitable remedies including lump sum alimony, permanent periodic alimony, child support and an award of exclusive possession of property. Canakaris v. Canakaris, 382 So. 2d 1197, 2012 (Fla. 1980). The remedies available in a Florida divorce proceeding are interrelated and should be used collectively to achieve an overall objective. Lump sum alimony is one of the remedies a court can use to meet its objective of providing the parties with a fair and equitable result.
Under Fla. Stat. § 61.08, Florida courts are authorized to award permanent periodic alimony, lump sum alimony, or both. Rosario v. Rosario, 945 So. 2d 629, 632 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). When deciding whether to award a party alimony in a divorce proceeding, Florida courts may consider “any factor necessary to do justice between the parties, including adultery.” Id.
Before a court can award lump sum alimony, two conditions must be met. First, the trial court must find some special necessity for a lump sum payment of alimony. Id., citing Porzio v. Porzio, 760 So. 2d 1075, 1077 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000); Simpson v. Simpson, 372 So. 2d 526, 527 (Fla. 4th DCA 1979). Once the court determines that there is some special necessity for lump sum alimony, the court must find that unusual circumstances exist which require a non-modifiable award of support. Rosario, 945 so. 2d at 632, citing Glazner v. Glazner, 693 So. 2d 650, 652 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997). An award of lump sum alimony must be supported by findings of special circumstances above and beyond the justifications for awarding permanent periodic alimony. Rosario, 945 So. 2d at 632, citing Jessee v. Jessee, 839 So. 2d 842, 843 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003).