Catherine H. Poole, f.k.a. Catherine H. Dames - Page 11

          decree, great weight is given, however, to the language and                 
          structure of the decree. Griffith v. Commissioner, 749 F.2d 11, 13          
          (6th Cir. 1984), affg. T.C. Memo. 1983-278.  In addition, an                
          examination of surrounding facts and circumstances may be required.         
          Yoakum v. Commissioner, 82 T.C. 128, 140 (1984); Gammill v.                 
          Commissioner, supra.                                                        
               This Court has frequently looked to State law in considering           
          whether payments between spouses constitute alimony or a property           
          settlement.  See Yoakum v. Commissioner, supra at 136. Under                
          Florida law, following the termination of a marital relationship,           
          the financially advantaged spouse must provide support and                  
          maintenance for the financially disadvantaged spouse.  Fla. Stat.           
          Ann. sec. 61.08 (West 1985). Clearly, in this case, petitioner was          
          the financially disadvantaged spouse.  Under Florida law, Dr. Ibach         
          was obligated to make payments to petitioner for her support.  We           
          believe he did so pursuant to Paragraph 7.                                  
               Moreover, there was an equitable property division between             
          petitioner and Dr. Ibach.  Excluding the Paragraph 7 payments,              
          there was almost an equal division of their property.  See Eckroade         
          v. Eckroade, 570 So. 2d 1347, 1349 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1990).              
          However, although "State law defines property rights, Federal law           
          determines the tax consequences which attend these defined rights."         
          Williams v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1993-163 (citing Sampson v.            
          Commissioner, 81 T.C. 614, 618 (1983), affd. without published              
          opinion 829 F.2d 39 (6th Cir. 1987)).                                       

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