Pfohl v. Pfohl
345 So.2d 371 (1977)

  • Mr. Pfohl was a lucky guy. He was an unemployed toy salesman who married an heiress worth over $4M. Unfortunately, after nine years and two kids, she kicked him out and filed for divorce.
  • The Trial Court awarded Mr. Pfohl a lump sum payment as well as $5k a month in rehabilitative alimony for 18 months.
    • The idea of rehabilitative alimony is that it gives the spouse time to get back on their feet and get a job, but it is not intended to be long-term support.
  • Both Mr. and Mrs. Pfohl appealed.
    • Mr. Pfohl argued that the lump sum wasn't enough and that he should receive permanent alimony.
      • Traditionally, under the common-law, alimony continued until the spouse remarried or died.
        • Back in the day, women couldn't work and were generally completely dependent on their husbands for support.
    • Mrs. Pfohl argued that he shouldn't get anything at all because under the common-law wives could not be required to pay alimony to husbands.
  • The Appellate Court affirmed.
    • The Appellate Court found that under the modern Statutes, the Court is to come to the most equitable solution, taking into account the needs and means of the spouses.
      • In this case, Mrs. Pfohl was the provider, so she is required to support her ex-husband.
      • Mr. Pfohl isn't helpless, and in modern-day America he can get a job and support himself, therefore only temporary (aka rehabilitative) alimony is warranted. He just deserves enough cash to get back on his feet.
        • Plus, Mr. Pfohl was free to come back to court and ask more money once the 18 months runs out.
    • The Court also awarded Mr. Pfohl a $30k lump sum payment and attorney fees.
  • When this case was being heard there was a lot of publicity because until this time, it was unheard of that a husband would get alimony from a wife.