Perlmutter v. Perlmutter, s. 85-2378

Decision Date25 March 1987
Docket Number4-86-1911,Nos. 85-2378,s. 85-2378
Citation12 Fla. L. Weekly 867,523 So.2d 594
Parties12 Fla. L. Weekly 867 Robert PERLMUTTER, Appellant/Cross Appellee, v. Audrey Harriett PERLMUTTER, Appellee/Cross Appellant. Robert PERLMUTTER, Appellant, v. Audrey Harriett PERLMUTTER, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

H.T. Maloney of Patterson & Maloney, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

Cynthia L. Greene of Law Offices of Frumkes and Greene, P.A., Miami, for appellee.

DOWNEY, Judge.

The parties to this dissolution of marriage case both complain that the trial court erred in entering the final judgment appealed from. The husband contends the award of lump sum alimony is too large and the manner of payment is too onerous. Furthermore, he objects to being required to pay the wife's attorney's fees and suit money. By cross appeal the wife contends the trial court erred in not awarding her permanent periodic alimony and in using the date of filing suit as the date for valuation of the marital assets in making an equitable distribution.

We agree with the wife's contention that the wrong date was utilized in determining the value of the marital assets, which so skews the entire award that it is unnecessary to treat the other appellate points.

This marriage survived for over thirty years. In the beginning, the husband worked in a paint store in New York owned by his father. In due course, the father died and the husband eventually ended up with the paint business, known as Pearl Paint Company. Both husband and wife worked in the business, which flourished with the opening of new stores in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

This suit was filed in Broward County, Florida, on October 22, 1981, and went to trial October 8, 1984, with final judgment being entered August 19, 1985. The primary marital asset was the various paint store businesses known in this litigation as The Pearl Group. The husband's expert valued The Pearl Group at $3,214,600 in 1981 and $5,711,300 in 1983; whereas, the wife's expert valued the group at $4,200,000 in 1981 and $7,200,000 in 1983. Thus, it appears that, regardless of whose figures the trial court may rely upon, there was a vast difference in the valuations of the business between the date suit was filed and the date of trial, some three years later. The husband contends for the date suit was filed, while the wife viewed the trial date as the critical time for valuation. The trial judge was persuaded that the filing date was the appropriate one, stating in the final judgment:

E. One of the troublesome but important issues in this proceeding was to determine the date of valuation of the assets. The appropriate date for valuation of the assets and determination of what those assets are should be the date of the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and this Court so holds for the reason that as of that date the marital enterprise is no longer viable, it is a definite date that is known for the purposes of evaluation and it reduces the expense of duplication or updating appraisals and evaluations for the Final Hearing, making all discovery from that date. The value of the Husband's interest in the Pearl Group as of October, 1981 is found to be $3,250,000. There is no need to make a finding as to the value of the Pearl Group as of the trial date, to wit: October, 1984, as same is irrelevant for the purposes of the adjudication of this proceeding.

In a very recent case, which neither the trial court nor counsel had the benefit of prior to submission of the case, decided December 1, 1986, by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York in Wegman v. Wegman, 509 N.Y.S.2d 342 (N.Y.App.Div.1986), the court considered what had been described as "one of the most perplexing and difficult problems created by the Equitable Distribution Law--the issue of the date to be used for the valuation of marital property." The case reviews numerous cases from other jurisdictions, some of which view the critical date as the date of separation, others the date suit is filed, others the date of trial, and some even use the date of the judgment. In explaining the reason for this great diversity the court pointed out:

The justification of this reluctance to create a simple formula for property division was well expressed by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Lacey v. Lacey, 45 Wis.2d 378, 383, 173 N.W.2d 142, 145:

"The formula for division derives from the facts of the individual case. If it is argued that this approach gives great leeway and also places a heavy responsibility on trial...

To continue reading

Request your trial
15 cases
  • Thielenhaus v. Thielenhaus
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1995
    ...285 Minn. 418, 175 N.W.2d 148, 159 (1970); Curylo v. Curylo, 104 Mich.App. 340, 304 N.W.2d 575, 580 (1981); Perlmutter v. Perlmutter, 523 So.2d 594, 595-596 (Fla.App.1987). In Montana each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis because the Supreme Court is unwilling to create a sta......
  • Bain v. Bain, 89-451
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • January 4, 1990
    ...them. 2 The choice of dates to value marital assets is largely within the trial court's discretion. Moore at 257; Perlmutter v. Perlmutter, 523 So.2d 594 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987), review denied, 531 So.2d 1354 (Fla.1988). See also § 61.075(4), Fla.Stat. (Supp.1988). 3 Regarding retirement pensio......
  • Moore v. Moore
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • April 10, 1989
    ...states. However, the choice of dates to value marital assets is largely up to the trial judge's discretion. Perlmutter v. Perlmutter, 523 So.2d 594 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987), rev. denied, 531 So.2d 1354 (Fla.1988). Date of the dissolution hearing is the most common date selected. Perlmutter. Give......
  • Norwood v. Anapol-Norwood
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 10, 2006
    ...1997), review denied, 717 So.2d 529 (Fla.1998); see also Nelson v. Nelson, 795 So.2d 977 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001); Perlmutter v. Perlmutter, 523 So.2d 594, 596 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987), review denied, 531 So.2d 1354 (Fla.1988).2 The trial judge correctly 7. Though the Court has in fact previously rul......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT