Parties married in 1991. They have 2 children. Husband employed as insurance agent and manages rental property. In 2009, he reported approximately $400,000 in income. Parties owned a house in Rainbow City subject to 2 mortgages and a house in Southside subject to 3 mortgages. Husband also had tax liability of approximately $200,000. Husband filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Tax liability was included in reorganization plan. Both houses were foreclosed upon. Husband was to pay $5,032 per month under bankruptcy plan. Wife was unemployed due to an autoimmune deficiency disorder.
After a hearing, Husband was ordered to pay $1,350 per month in child support for younger child, to pay 100 percent of post-minority college expenses for older child, $10,000 as alimony in gross and $500 per month in rehabilitative alimony for 60 months and $10,000 for dental work for wife and COBRA coverage at $571 per month. Wife appealed.
Due to Husband’s financial ruin caused by the parties living above their actual means and resultant bankruptcy, Husband was unable to pay more than the judgment allowed. Wife argued that trial court erred by failing to reserve the right to award future alimony. The court held that when a court awards rehabilitative alimony, it has exercised its power to award future alimony if a petition is filed before the award expires.