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HUA V TSUNG Appeal in West Palm Beach Divorce appeal

by | Jul 30, 2017 | Division of Assets, Divorce, Firm News

A divorced couple is still having trouble with divvying up their assets, according to a July 5 opinion by the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals. Normally divorces that have alot of assets take much more time to get done cost a lot more money to do. Divorces that include alot of assets need forensic accountants to analyze the true value of the community estate.

Nancy Hua filed the appeal, claiming that the lower court was not correct when it didn’t give her permanent alimony.  Permanent spousal support requires an analysis of the receiving spouses condition and if it warrant support for a lifetime.  Often the spouse will be ordered to go back to work at some point. And it did not correctly categorize which stocks were considered assets, required both sides to pay money they made in a rental property sale to her ex-husband’s father and dismissed her request for attorney’s fees.

 The legal issues began when Hua’s former husband, Dennis Tsung, filed for divorce in 2013 after nearly 18 years of marriage. At this time, Tsung had moved to Brazil while Hua stayed in Broward County with their two children. During much of their marriage, Hua allegedly received gifts from Tsung’s family.

At one point. the trial court discovered Tsung’s dad loaned the now exes more than $1.4 million during their years together. Tsung also said he had $885,000 worth of assets in stocks under DSC Holdings. The trial court found the stock assets were more than $1 million. Hua didn’t have an income at the time of the divorce and said she needed $20,000 a month in spousal support to cover her expenses. The trial court rewarded her with $2,500 per month plus rental property. Tsung was also ordered to pay up to $12,000 for Hua to attend nursing school.

When it came to the issue of alimony, the district court decided that it should be remanded back to the trial court so the lower court can find out how much Hua can actually pay each month.

As for the husband’s shares in DSC Holdings, the appeals court agreed with Hua that the lower court erred when it didn’t take into account the 34 percent of shares, which equaled the more than $1 million value, when totaling the amount of alimony and support Tsung could pay. Considering this, the appellate court reversed and remanded this portion of the case back to the trial court so it can reassess Tsung’s assets to include stocks for support for Hua.

The appeals court also didn’t agree with the trial court about requiring the parties to pay from sales of a rental property, ruling that when the lower court awarded Tsung’s father the money made from the property, it turned him into a secured creditor from an unsecured one. The upper court remanded this portion back to the trial court and said Tsung’s father could take his own legal action if he chooses to.

The appeals court remanded the trial court’s decision not to grant Hua attorney’s fees because it also remanded the stock issue and the alimony issue because the remands could ultimately cost Hua more money.