Family & Divorce Case Law Archive


DECEMBER 2016

CHILD CUSTODY-MODIFICATION: Court erred in modifying child custody where father did not allege nor did court find that there was a substantial change in circumstances. Riddle v. Riddle, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D90e (4th DCA 12/30/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2016/2803/162803_DC13_12302016_100631_i.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court must value assets and make findings justifying an unequal distribution of marital assets and liabilities in a supplemental final judgment. Navarro v. Navarro, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D88a (1st DCA 12/30/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4201/154201_DC08_12302016_082825_i.pdf

PATERNITY-DUE PROCESS: Where trial court entered an "Order Scheduling Uncontested Final Hearing or in the Alternative Setting Status Conference," and order specifically stated that if an answer was filed, the hearing would serve as a status conference, and the mother had filed an answer, it was a violation of mother's due process rights to hold final hearing. Pinnock v. Whyte, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D78a (3rd DCA 12/28/16)

http://3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D15-1042.pdf

FEDERAL TAX DEPENDENCY EXEMPTION: Court does not have power to allocate the Federal Tax Dependency Exemption directly, but can only require the custodial parent to transfer the exemption to the non-parent through the 3 execution of a waiver. The transfer the dependency exemption is conditioned on that parent being current was child support payments. Pinnock v. Whyte, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D78a (3rd DCA 12/28/16)

http://3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D15-1042.pdf

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Orphaned children from El Salvador threatened with murder by the Mara Salvatrucha gang if deported cannot be adjudicated dependent. W.B.A. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D75a (3rd DCA 12/28/16)

http://3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-1448.pdf

LUMP SUM ALIMONY: Lump sum alimony may be awarded either for spousal support or as part of an equitable distribution of marital property. Court erred in awarding former wife marital home as lump sum alimony without finding that the award was necessary for support or as an equitable distribution. Gardiner v. Gardiner, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D69a (2nd DCA 12/28/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/December/December%2028,%202016/2D15-2621.pdf

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE-APPEALS: Order finding wife entitled to attorney's fees is not appealable with the amount of fees has not been determined. Raton v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D61b (5th DCA 12/22/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/121916/5D15-4184.op.pdf

CONTEMPT: Court did not abuse discretion by failing to hold wife in contempt for changing therapist where the new therapist is more conveniently located. Raton v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D61b (5th DCA 12/22/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/121916/5D15-4184.op.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION-PASSIVE APPRECIATION: Formula: (Loan-to-Value Ratio at Time of Marriage X Current FMV) - Total Current Mortgage = Appreciation Value. Viscito v. Viscito, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D43a (3rd DCA 12/21/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D15-0786.pdf

ALIMONY: Court did not abuse discretion in denying alimony to husband who was voluntarily unemployed and whose gambling debts hurt his family's position and lifestyle. Viscito v. Viscito, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D43a (3rd DCA 12/21/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D15-0786.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Jointly titled marital home later transferred to an irrevocable trust for the benefit of the Wife and her descendants is not marital property subject to equitable distribution. Nelson v. Nelson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2786a (2nd DCA 12/16/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/December/December%2016,%202016/2D15-4585.pdf

TIME-SHARING: Court abused its discretion by awarding mother decision-making authority without a showing that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Cranney v. Cranney, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2753a (2nd DCA 12/14/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/December/December%2014,%202016/2D15-5240.pdf

JUDGE-DISQUALIFICATION: Motion to disqualify Judge in divorce case which alleged that the judge engaged in ex parte communications with opposing party before entering a final judgment nearly identical to the party's proposed final judgment was sufficient to demonstrate a reasonably prudent person would be in fear of not receiving a fair and impartial hearing. Isan v. Isan, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2705a (5th DCA 12/6/16)

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/120516/5D16-941.op.pdf

CHILD CUSTODY-FOREIGN DECREE: Court erred in suspending father's Texas-ordered timesharing without communicating with the foreign court making a record that communication. Earney v. Qiloan, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2738b (5th DCA 12/9/16)

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/120516/5D16-941.op.pdf

CHILD CUSTODY-MODIFICATION: Court erred by entering ex parte emergency motion modifying temporary timesharing without notice to father, nor doing so on basis of unsworn guardian ad litem report. Bahl v. Bahl, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2727b (2nd DCA 12/9/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/December/December%2009,%202016/2D16-2459.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT-CONTEMPT: Court erred by finding that the Father had ability to pay based on his assets. The law does not require liquidation of capital assets to satisfy support obligations. Nation v. Boling, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2725c (1st DCA 12/8/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0829/160829_DC13_12082016_104953_i.pdf

COMPETENCY OF DEFENDANT: Court erred by denying defense counsel's request for competency hearing where there were reasonable grounds to question defendant's competence. Moore v. State, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2702a (1st DCA 12/5/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4848/154848_DC13_12052016_085108_i.pdf

CHILD CUSTODY: Court may properly include in final judgment a provision prohibiting Father from discussing any religious matters during visitation with children where evidence supported that the father's actions motivated by religious views were harmful to the children. Koch v. Koch, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2701c (1st DCA 12/5/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0478/160478_DC05_12052016_094524_i.pdf

ALIMONY: Court must not consider former wife's voluntary support of her grandchildren from another relationship as part of her need for alimony. Harris v. Harris, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2698a (5th DCA 12/2/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/112816/5D15-3993.op.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court must not consider one half the marital portion of the appreciation in value of the former wife's house as an asset of the former husband where the former wife was awarded sole ownership of the house. Harris v. Harris, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2698a (5th DCA 12/2/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/112816/5D15-3993.op.pdf

ALIMONY-OVERPAYMENT: Former husband's motion to terminate alimony and finding that wife received overpayments must be made by supplemental petition, not by motion. Clark v. Clark, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2687a (1st DCA 12/1/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/2241/162241_DC13_12012016_090054_i.pdf

NOVEMBER 2016

CONTEMPT-CHILD SUPPORT: Father may not be held in contempt for failing to pay child support where no evidence was adduced to the essential issues at the hearing in the case. Alfred v. State, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2672a (4th DCA 11/30/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4247/154247_DC13_11302016_085509_i.pdf

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE-MODIFICATION-DUE PROCESS: Court violated due process rights by denying wife the opportunity present evidence of substantial change of circumstances for modification of Final Judgment. Sawaya v. Thompson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2665b (4th DCA 11/30/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2015/0841/150841_DC13_11302016_084211_i.pdf

ABORTION-MINORS: Court did not abuse its discretion by deciding that the minor had failed to demonstrate that waiver of parental notification is in her best interests. Generalized fear of telling her parents is insufficient. In Re: Jane Doe 16-A, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2655b (1st DCA 11/28/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/5264/165264_DC05_11282016_050318_i.pdf

DEPENDENCY: "A finding of dependency is not a termination, but an opportunity to restore and hopefully repair a family in need of assistance." L.C.R. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2639b (3rd DCA 11/23/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-1647.pdf

ALIMONY: Absent a showing of the depletion of marital assets, a party's adultery is not a valid reason to deny permanent alimony in a 20 year marriage. Keyser v. Keyser, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2619d (1st DCA 11/21/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0274/160274_DC08_11212016_015514_i.pdf

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE: Court must address the parties' responsibility for healthcare expenses for minor children that are not covered by health insurance. Murphy v. Murphy, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2618a (5th DCA 11/18/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/111416/5D16-189.op.pdf

APPEALS: In a civil case, where there is neither a transcript nor a stipulated statement of the record no issues not apparent on the face of the record may be considered. Murphy v. Murphy, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2618a (5th DCA 11/18/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/111416/5D16-189.op.pdf

RELOCATION: Order allowing relocation is proper notwithstanding lack of strict compliance with service requirements, where opponent to relocation had notice and failed to object. Henderson-Bullard v.Lockard, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2613a (5th DCA 11/18/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/111416/5D16-1679.op.pdf

CONTEMPT: Husband was denied due process when trial court found him in indirect civil contempt for failure to comply with court order to disclose all his assets without proper notice in time to prepare a defense. Baldwin v. Baldwin, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2611b (5th DCA 11/18/16)

41 Fla. L. Weekly D2611a (5th DCA 11/18/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/111416/5D16-1055.op.pdf

ALIMONY: Court may not modify alimony on the basis of the wife's increased income whwew that increase was anticipated at the time of the entry of the final judgment. Golson v. Golson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2607a (5th DCA 11/18/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/111416/5D16-904.op.pdf

INJUNCTIONS: Post-dissolution injunction against former wife, enjoining her from being within 100 feet of her minor children at extracurricular and sporting events, was improperly entered without notice in violation of wife's due process rights where none of the motions heard requested injunctive relief. Gear v. Gear, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2596a (2nd DCA 11/18/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/November/November%2018,%202016/2D16-1653.pdf

VISITATION: Court may not place restriction on supervised visitation solely in the hands of child's therapist, with whom the mother has no contact. Witt-Bahls v. Bahls, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2570a (4th DCA 11/16/16)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: When one murdered child is found buried in the backyard, parental rights to the remaining children may be terminated as to both parents. B.S. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2568a (4th DCA 11/16/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4806/154806_DC05_11162016_085748_i.pdf

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: After finding that one child had suffered abuse and adjudicating that child dependent, trial court abused discretion by failing to recognize the nexus between the severe abuse of that child and the substantial risk of significant harm to his siblings, and failing to adjudicate the siblings to be dependent children. In the Interest of Guardian ad Litem v. C.H., 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2562c (2nd DCA 11/16/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/November/November%2016,%202016/2D16-2200.pdf

CHILD CUSTODY-LACHES: Father who was incarcerated for 10 years is not barred by laches from challenging temporary custody order giving his child to the maternal grandmother. Laches requires more than delay; it requires undue prejudice to the party against whom the claim is asserted. Tata v. Tata, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2526a (4th DCA 11/9/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2016/2420/162420_DC05_11092016_094003_i.pdf

INJUNCTIONS: Motion to terminate/vacate judgment of injunction which alleged facts demonstrating changed circumstances such that the continuation of the injunction would serve no valid purpose was legally sufficient. Peaslee v. Perrine, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2522c (1st DCA 11/9/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4059/154059_DC13_11092016_083945_i.pdf

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Court may declare child dependent as to mother for not attending the child's injuries but a 2nd non-injured child may not be declared dependent. adjudication as to second child. M.C. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2507a (3rd DCA 11/9/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-1114.pdf

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTIONS: One incident 18 months earlier and general testimony about the Respondent's bad character is insufficient to warrant the domestic violence injunction. Battaglia v. Thompson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2501b (2nd DCA 11/9/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/November/November%2009,%202016/2D15-3906.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT-PATERNITY: Putative Father may not contest paternity in DOR action where paternity has already been established by affidavit. Putative Father must file a separate civil action to contest paternity. Anderson v. DOR, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2488a (1st DCA 11/9/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/5707/155707_DC05_11092016_085147_i.pdf

GUARDIAN AD LITEM: Although court has discretion to appoint a guardian ad litem for child and legal counsel for child, the guardian ad litem and the legal counsel cannot be the same person. Lopez v. Perez, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2458a (3rd DCA 11/2/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-1013.pdf

CONTEMPT: Contempt order including a purge amount must identify the assets available to pay the purge. Tivoli v. DOR, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2453b (4th DCA 11/2/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0807/160807_DC13_11022016_093713_i.pdf

PLEADING: Court may not modify child support where it is not properly pled. Catchall "any and all relief" is not properly pled. Voorhees v. Voorhees, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2452b (4th DCA 11/2/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2015/1608/151608_DC08_11022016_090738_i.pdf

DEPENDENT CHILDREN-NEGLECT: Children may be declared defendant based on them living in a home with an ongoing rat infestation. R.M. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2451c (4th DCA 11/2/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2016/1156/161156_DC08_11022016_093952_i.pdf

OCTOBER 2016

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Court may not adjudicated child dependent based on the father's failure to substantially comply the case plan for older children who were earlier adjudicated dependent. In the Interest of V.L. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2434a (2nd DCA 10/28/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/October/October%2028,%202016/2D16-1862.pdf

PATERNITY-CHILD CUSTODY-CHILD SUPPORT: New trial is required where there was a twenty-two-month delay between trial and entry of final judgment modifying timesharing, parental responsibility, and child support, final judgment was a nearly verbatim recitation of judgment proposed and furnished ex parte by mother, and final judgment was entered immediately prior to trial judge's retirement. Stanfield v. Marquis, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2420a (5th DCA 10/28/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/102416/5D15-381.op.pdf

CHILD CUSTODY-JURISDICTION: Florida is the home state of the child was born in Florida and lived in Florida until the mother moved to New York when the child was less than 2 weeks old. Baker v. Tunney, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2383a (5th DCA 10/21/16)

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Court erred in terminating jurisdiction over minor child without proper notice to the father. In the Interest of D.O. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2381b (2nd DCA 10/21/16)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION-SPECIAL EQUITY: Trial court erred in awarding former wife special equity in marital home and beachfront condominium and in failing to follow procedures set forth in equitable distribution statute. Mere recitation that wife should receive special equity based on her contribution of nonmarital funds for down payment was not adequate. As of 2008, special equity is abolished and all claims formerly identified as special equity must be asserted as either a claim for unequal distribution of marital property or enhancement in value of nonmarital property. Terkeurst v. Terkeurst, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2346a (2nd DCA 10/14/16)

ALIMONY: Permanent alimony is rebuttably presumed for a long-term marriage. Error to order durational alimony. Berger v. Berger, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2326a (4th DCA 10/13/16)

TIME-SHARING: No abuse of discretion in awarding 45 minutes per day of videoconferencing time with father. Saucier v. Nowak, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2339a (5th DCA 10/10/16)

CHILD SUPPORT-DOR: DOR's proceeding should have terminated after Father served DOR with a copy of a filed circuit court petition addressing support obligations. DOR must halt an administrative support proceeding if the parent from whom support is sought files a petition to have the matter heard in circuit court and serves DOR with a copy of the petition within 20 days after being served notice of the administrative support proceeding. Johnson v. DOR, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2290c (1st DCA 10/7/16)

CHILD CUSTODY-MODIFICATION-ALIENATION: Allegation that former wife attempted to undermine his relationship with the child is insufficient to demonstrate as substantial and material changes circumstances warranting a modification of time-sharing. Korkmaz v. Korkmaz, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2250b (1st DCA 10/4/16)

CHILD SUPPORT
: Court may not hold parties equally responsible for payment of all non-covered medical expenses where the party's income was substantially different and there is no logically established rationale supporting a different allocation. Lupola v. Lupola, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2249b (1st DCA 10/4/16)

SEPTEMBER 2016

ALIMONY: Court erred in failing to award wife permanent alimony where the marriage was long-term, there is a presumption in favor of permanent alimony, and the husband did not present sufficient evidence to overcome the presumption. Court erred in basing its findings on the Wife's most recent financial affidavit rather than on her standard of living during the marriage. Clemens v. Clemens, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2239d, (5th DCA 9/30/16)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: Court properly terminated parental rights upon finding that it would be harmful to the child to continue the relationship with the incarcerated mother. J.W. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2231a (2nd DCA 9/28/16)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Attorney's fees are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Guerra v. State, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2229a (2nd DCA 9/28/16)

DEPENDENCY: Order placing children in permanent guardianship is deficient without specific findings of necessity or evidentiary basis. In the Interest of C.A. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2219a (2nd DCA 9/28/16)

DEPENDENT CHILDREN-UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS: A Child over 18 cannot be adjudicated dependent, and thus appeal is moot. Child is not entitled to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Appeal is moot. O.I.C.L v. State, 41 Fla. L. Weekly S405a (FLA 9/22/16)

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2016/sc15-1570.pdf

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Parental rights of one parent should not be terminated unless the rights of both are. Z.R. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2178a (3rd DCA 9/21/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-0833.pdf

IMPUTED INCOME: Husband should be imputed income based on his voluntary unemployment. Although fired from his previous job, he may know efforts to seek comparable employment. Koscher v. Koscher,41 Fla. L. Weekly D2161a (4th DCA 9/21/16)

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2015/2432/152432_DC08_09212016_100935_i.pdf

PATERNITY: A child born to an intact marriage cannot be the subject of a paternity proceeding brought by a biological father. Flynn v. McCraney, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2159b (1st DCA 9/19/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/5802/155802_DC05_09192016_113002_i.pdf

CONTEMPT: Former husband cannot be held in indirect civil contempt for failing to pay child support where the notice did not contain warning language that if he did not appear at the hearing he could be arrested. Brown v. Blanton-Browne, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2156a (1st DCA 9/1916)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0679/160679_DC03_09192016_113207_i.pdf

INJUNCTIONS-STALKING: Respondent is denied due process when court entered a permanent injunction against stalking without allowing defendant to present evidence or witness testimony. Ceelen v. Grant, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2152b (2nd DCA 9/16/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/September/September%2016,%202016/2D15-1696.pdf will

DIVORCE-DUE PROCESS-INCARCERATED PARTY: Where former husband was incarcerated, was permitted to appear at the final hearing by telephone but DOC did not bring him to the phone, Court may not proceed with the hearing without him. Anderson v. Anderson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2147a (5th DCA 9/16/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/091216/5D16-888.op.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Husband is allowed credit for partial distribution of marital assets for payment of wife's expert witness prior to entry of the final judgment. Lostaglio v. Lostaglio, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2146a (5th DCA 9/16/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/091216/5D14-3494.op.pdf

ALIMONY: Court may award durational alimony for period of ten years commencing on date of final judgment, but must be reconsidered where the Court failed to account for wife's additional post-judgment expenses in form of taxes and insurance and failed to impute any income to the wife. Lostaglio v. Lostaglio, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2146a (5th DCA 9/16/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/091216/5D14-3494.op.pdf

ALIMONY: Court may consider adultery in awarding alimony only if there is a dissipation of marital assets. Lostaglio v. Lostaglio, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2146a (5th DCA 9/16/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/091216/5D14-3494.op.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT: Child support should be calculated from the date the former husband moved out of the marital residence, not the date of the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. Liguouri v. Ligouri, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2116a (2nd DCA 9/9/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/September/September%2009,%202016/2D14-5844.pdf

MEDICAL EXPENSES: Final Judgment must include a provision for payment of uncovered medical expenses of the children. Liguouri v. Ligouri, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2116a (2nd DCA 9/9/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/September/September%2009,%202016/2D14-5844.pdf

PARENTING PLAN: The parenting plan may differ from that proposed by the parties. Liguouri v. Ligouri, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2116a (2nd DCA 9/9/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/September/September%2009,%202016/2D14-5844.pdf

PATERNITY: Putative son's petition for paternity is properly dismissed as barred by statute of limitations where it was filed more than four years after the Petitioner had attained majority. Amendment to the statute limiting the statute of limitations to paternity determinations in probate proceedings does not apply retroactively. Rose v. Sonson, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2091a (3rd DCA 9/7/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D15-0371.pdf

ALIMONY: Court did not abuse discretion in awarding temporary alimony, given wife's need and husband's ability to pay. See Dissent. Trainor v. Trainor, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2069a (4th DCA 9/7/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Sept.%202016/09-07-16/4D16-852.op%20&%20dis.pdf

ALIMONY: Court may not order bridge-the-gap alimony concurrently with durational alimony, and the final judgment must list the statutory factors in making an award of alimony. Brezault v. Brezault, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2067a (4th DCA 9/7/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Sept.%202016/09-07-16/4D15-2788.op.pdf

PATERNITY: Where the child was born out of wedlock, the mother later married, the mother and the new husband filed an "Acknowledgment of Paternity," the husband was the child's legal father, provided the Acknowledgment was not fraudulent. The former boyfriend, who biologically is the father, cannot claim paternity. But if the Husband knew he was not the Father, there was fraud, and the boyfriend may claim paternity. A.D.A. v. D.M.F., 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2061a (4th DCA 9/7/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Sept.%202016/09-07-16/4D15-575.rehg.pdf

ALIMONY: In calculating alimony award, trial court erred in deducting from husband's income a temporary alimony award which was in place only until final hearing. Bork v. Bork, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2058b (1st DCA 9/6/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4384/154384_DC08_09062016_064450_i.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Argument of counsel about needed ability to pay attorney's fees is not a proper basis for an award. Cherry v. Viker, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2057a (1st DCA 9/6/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0689/160689_DC13_09062016_071759_i.pdf

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Court is not required to consider a permanent guardianship rather than adoption in order to preserve the parent-child bond and allow the parent to have continued contact with the child, after the grounds for termination of parental rights have been established and the court has determined that reunification with the parent would be harmful to the child. Permanent guardianship shall be considered only after reunification and adoption are not available options. The focus is the State's actions prior to filing the petition, rather than on the consideration of what remains of the bond between parent and child. S.M. v D.C.F., 41 Fla. L. Weekly S362a (FLA 9/1/16)

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2016/sc15-2127.pdf

AUGUST 2016

PATERNITY: Court improperly ordered therapeutic consultation with parties' child. Therapeutic consultation amounted to a compulsory psychological evaluation of the child. Medina v. Haddad, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2033a (3rd DCA 8/31/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D15-2280.pdf


DEPENDENCY: Court has continuing jurisdiction over the child when he is in temporary custody in Puerto Rico. DCF v. M.N., 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2028b (3rd DCA 8/31/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-1111.pdf

INJUNCTION-STALKING: Error to enter injunction based upon neighbor waited in his car while Petitioner's wife was outside waiting for the Petitioner. No evidence of maliciousness nor that the conduct cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Klemple v. Gagliano, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2009a (4th DCA 8/31/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-31-16/4D15-4761.op.pdf

EQUITABLE DISSOLUTION: Credit awarded to wife for tax payments made on real estate commissions that were divided in equitable distribution was excessive where trial court had already allowed wife credit for the same taxes through reduction in value of bank accounts based on wife's use of funds to pay taxes. Sweeney v. Sweeney, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1997a (2nd DCA 8/31/16)
http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/August/August%2031,%202016/2D15-2677.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Property separately acquired by the husband , transferred to the wife, then re-transferred to the husband by quitclaim, remains the husband's personal property. By terms of the prenuptial agreement is not subject to equitable distribution. Colino v. Colino, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1990b (5th DCA 8/26/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/082216/5D15-2567.op.pdf

ALIMONY: The parties' relative financial position following a criminal distribution should be considered in the award of alimony. Colino v. Colino, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1990b (5th DCA 8/26/16)

http://5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/082216/5D15-2567.op.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court may not make parties equally responsible for credit card debts without designating which spouse responsible for payment of them. Ridings v. Ridings, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1968b (4th DCA 8/24/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-24-16/4D15-4103.op.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Error to award attorney's fees incurred by father in opposing mother's supplemental modification petition on the ground that the mother's actions were selfish and not in the best interest of the child. Rogers v. Wiggins, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1947a (2nd DCA 8/24/16)

INJUNCTION-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Court erred in granting an injunction based on a series of text messages which frightened Petitioner without making a finding that it was objectively reasonable for Petitioner to believe she was in danger of imminent harm. Mitchell v. Mitchell, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1960a (4th DCA 8/24/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-24-16/4D15-864.op.pdf

SERVICE OF PROCESS: Evidence did not establish that father was properly served in Nicaragua where name on delivery receipt differed from name of father, and case manager did not directly and clearly testify that she heard father admit to receiving notice. Case manager's testimony that father admitted that he had been served to one person who told case manager who then testified was inadmissible hearsay. Trial court erred in continuing to hear argument on service issue after having father's counsel removed from courtroom for being disruptive. J.C.O. v. DCF, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1958a (3rd DCA 8/24/16)

http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D16-0320.pdf

ALIMONY
: Court must state the evidentiary basis for the amount of alimony awarded. Shaver v. Shaver, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1945a (2nd DCA 8/24/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/August/August%2024,%202016/2D15-991.pdf

CHILD CUSTODY-TIMESHARING: Where mediation agreement provided for father to have timesharing with child one weekend a month with parties to agree on weekend during which father will exercise timesharing with thirty days' notice, and for timesharing to occur on the third weekend of the month if the parties are unable to agree, trial court erroneously interpreted mediation agreement to require thirty days' notice for father to exercise timesharing on third weekend of month Steele v. Prince, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1939b (1st DCA 8/22/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2016/0074/160074_DC13_08222016_120212_i.pdf

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE-DISCOVERY: Court may not order wife to submit to psychological evaluation without making findings that her mental health was controversy. Further, any order psychological evaluation must identify the length of the examination type of testing. Manubens v. Manubens, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1933a (5th DCA 8/19/16)

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/081516/5D15-4081.op.pdf

ALIMONY: Where appellate court remanded to trial court for reconsideration of amount of alimony, trial court exceeded scope of mandate by entering amended judgment that changed type of alimony awarded from permanent to durational. Ketcher v. Ketcher, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1929b (1st DCA 8/18/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4769/154769_DC08_08182016_021918_i.pdf

INJUNCTION-REPEAT VIOLENCE: Court erred in denying petition for an injunction. Past separate acts of stalking classify as acts of violence warranting issuance of an injunction. Austin v. Echemendia, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1912a (4th DCA 8/17/16)

http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-17-16/4D15-4607.op.pdf

LIFE INSURANCE: Court may not require the husband to obtain life insurance as security for alimony without making findings as to the cost of insurance and any special circumstances justifying the need. Palmer v. Palmer, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1869a (5th DCA 8/12/16)

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2016/080816/5D15-892.op.pdf

ADOPTION--ABANDONMENT: Court erred in finding that the mother abandoned children when the father and his wife alienated the children from the mother and limited her opportunity for contact with them. N.A.G. v. J.L.G., 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1884a (2nd DCA 8/12/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/August/August%2012,%202016/2D16-1441.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT-MODIFICATION: Trial court lacked jurisdiction to modify former husband's child support obligation based on continued need due to child's mental or physical incapacitation where counter-petition seeking modification was filed after child had reached age of majority. Loza v. Marin, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1877a (2nd DCA 8/12/16)

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2016/August/August%2012,%202016/2D15-3235.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court errs in assessing rental income to wife without considering expenses, including mortgage payment. Nguyen v. Nguyen, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1865b (1st DCA 8/11/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/4451/154451_DC08_08112016_122107_i.pdf

ALIMONY-MODIFICATION: Court may reduce alimony obligation to zero and is not required to award nominal alimony in order to preserve jurisdiction where jurisdiction is otherwise preserved by the Final Judgment. Donovan v. Donovan, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1825a (1st DCA 8/9/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/3885/153885_DC05_08092016_082529_i.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES: After court has determined to award attorney's fees to wife based on significant disparity in non-marital assets, court may not properly deny fees accrued after the wife's rejection of a settlement offer. Conflict certified. Palmer v. Palmer, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1824b (1st DCA 8/9/16) will

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/3325/153325_DC13_08092016_081701_i.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Award of attorney's fees to wife reversed where trial court failed to make required findings relating to reasonableness of award. Chandler v. Kibbey, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1824a (1st DCA 8/9/16)

https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2015/3038/153038_DC08_08092016_081330_i.pdf

CHILD COURT-DEVIATION: Court is required to start from the guideline range child support may vary based on standard of living and needs of the child as well as other factors. The burden of proof is on the parent who seeks a variance. Gross v. Zimmerman, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1836a (4th DCA 8/10/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-10-16/4D14-745.op.WR%20dissent.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT-EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: Court may not order the Father to pay for all extracurricular activities where there is no evidence as to what they are and potential activities are open ended. Gross v. Zimmerman, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1836a (4th DCA 8/10/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-10-16/4D14-745.op.WR%20dissent.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT-LIFE INSURANCE: Life insurance may not be awarded to secure child support where there is no showing as to the necessity of such. Gross v. Zimmerman, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1836a (4th DCA 8/10/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-10-16/4D14-745.op.WR%20dissent.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES-CHILD SUPPORT: Where the litigation history showed an effort to harass the father, unnecessary fees incurred, and not overly complicated issues, and award of attorney's fees may be limited. Child support "should not be a complicated affair [and] should be done expeditiously and relatively inexpensively." Gross v. Zimmerman, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1836a (4th DCA 8/10/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-10-16/4D14-745.op.WR%20dissent.pdf

MATERNITY-VENUE: Venue in paternity actions by statute may lie where either the petitioner or respondent reside. Beckford v. Drogan, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1835b (4th DCA 8/10/16)

http://4dca.org/opinions/Aug%202016/08-10-16/4D16-947.op.pdf