Family & Divorce Case Law


INJUNCTION: Court erred by dissolving injunction against domestic violence where no relevant changed circumstances were shown at the hearing. Hamane v. Elofir, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1818b (5th DCA 8/18/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court must include in the final judgment factual findings justifying an unequal allocation of miracle liabilities. Disparate earning abilities cannot, without more, justify unequal distribution of marital assets and liabilities.   Vilardi v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1817b (5th DCA 8/18/17)

GRANDPARENTS' VISITATION: Foreign state judgment awarding grandparents visitation rights is entitled to enforcement under Full Faith and Credit Clause of U.S. Constitution.  Strinko v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1806b (3rd DCA 8/16/17)


CHILD CUSTODY-SAME SEX RELATIONSHIP: Birth mother's constitutional right to privacy protects her decision to sever child's ties with former partner where former partner is not biological or legal parent of child.  Castellat v. Pereira, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1804b (3rd DCA 8/16/17)

INCOME-BONUS: Bonus income must be included in the calculations of both child support and alimony when it is regular and continuous.  Barlow v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1784a (2nd DCA 8/16/17),%202017/2D16-1837.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT: Court erred in using child support guidelines worksheet which did not include the amount husband paid for monthly mortgage on marital home in which wife and child resided. Bond v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1779a (2nd DCA 8/16/17),%202017/2D16-5659.pdf


APPEALS: Motion for sanctions for discovery violations is a non-final non-appealable order. Patero v. Patero, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1721a (3rd DCA 8/9/17)

ALIMONY-TERMINATION: Where former wife's need for alimony ceased when she began receiving payments from former husband's military pension, court abused discretion by failing to make termination of former husband's alimony obligation retroactive to date former wife began receiving payments from former husband's military benefits. When court modifies alimony, there is a presumption of retroactivity. Dennis v. Dennis, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1717b (1st DCA 8/7/17)


CHILD CUSTODY-JURISDICTION-FORUM NON CONVENIENS: Where single-sex parents are from Malaysia and England, married in Missouri, and sometimes stay in New York, dissolution of marriage and child custody determination cannot be made in Florida where their only contact was sleeping on a friend's couch for a couple of months. Destefanis v. Tan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1683a (3rd DCA 8/2/17)


JULY 2017


TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Where termination of father's parental rights is reversed due to insufficient evidence, order terminating mother's parental rights must also be reversed because DCF did not establish grounds for single parent termination.   A.M.B. v. State,42 Fla. L. Weekly D1643a (1st DCA 7/26/17)


ALIMONY-MODIFICATION: One may not seek to modify alimony where the change in circumstances could have been anticipated or was not involuntary. Fischer v. Fischer, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1626b (1st DCA 7/20/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Parent does not have to be competent for termination of parental rights proceedings to occur. Parental rights may be terminated on the basis of the parent's mental illness.   A.M. v DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1612c (4th DCA 7/19/17)



CHILD SUPPORT: Court must allocate unreimbursed medical expenses on a percentage basis. Van Der Meulen v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1591a (2nd DCA 7/14/17),%202017/2D15-5711.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT: Father who does not challenge DOR's method of calculating child support fails to preserve the issue for review. Appellate court does not accept erroneous concessions of error where the issue is not preserved. Davis v. DOR, 2D16-1658 (2nd DCA 7/14/17),%202017/2D16-1658.pdf

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Court erred by changing goal of mother's case plan from reunification to permanent guardianship without adequate evidentiary basis. S.C.P. v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1569d (3rd DCA 7/12/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Court erred in entering implied consent to termination of parental rights against father when he failed to appear at adjudicatory hearing and should have vacated the implied consent when the Father testified that he had been hospitalized on day of hearing.  T.H. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1566a (3rd DCA 7/12/17)

CHILD CUSTODY: If the court finds that husband may not enjoy unsupervised timesharing, it must set forth specific requirements which, if met would re-establish unsupervised timesharing.  Whissell v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1533a (4th DCA 7/12/17)


INJUNCTION: Due process required Respondent an opportunity to be present and heard (Respondent was noticed and represented, but his whereabouts were unknown). Newsom v. Newsom, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1511b (1st DCA 7/6/17)


INJUNCTION: Court may not enter injunction with no evidence beyond asking former wife if she still wanted an injunction. Newsom v. Newsom, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1511b (1st DCA 7/6/17)

CHILD SUPPORT: Mother's absence from hearing does not constitute a waiver of retroactive child support.  Kirtley v. DOR, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1509c (1st DCA 7/6/17)

IMPUTED INCOME: Court may not impute income on basis of financial affidavit showing a monthly deficit.   Callwood v. Callwood, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1499a (4th DCA 7/5/17)

CHILD CUSTODY: Court erred by separating siblings by permitting former husband to relocate with two children to Virginia and leaving third child with former wife in Florida without finding a compelling reason for separating siblings. Sickels v. Sickels, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1479a (5th DCA 6/30/17)


CHILD SUPPORT: Where there is split custody, court must award both parties child support, and may set-off the respective obligations of the parties and order a net child support award.  Sickels v. Sickels, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1479a (5th DCA 6/30/17)


TRANSPORTATION COSTS: Transportation expenses should be shared by the parents in accordance with their financial means.   Sickels v. Sickels, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1479a (5th DCA  6/30/17)


ATTORNEY'S FEES: Court must order attorney's fees regardless of fact that debt was discharged by bankruptcy. Chittim v. Chittim, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1477a (2nd DCA 6/30/17),%202017/2D15-4578.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in failing to include in final judgment written findings specifically addressing several loans former husband testified he owed to various family members and a bank.  Raphael v. Raphael, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1459a (4th DCA 6/28/17)

ALIMONY-INCOME: Moving expenses are not includable in income for calculating alimony.   Threadgill v. Nishimura, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1455a (2nd DCA 6/28/17),%202017/2D15-5547.pdf

DISCOVERY-DEPOSITION: Court did not depart from essential requirements of law by denying wife's request to personally attend the deposition of husband who was incarcerated, and permitting wife to appear at deposition by phone, where jail officials had indicated that wife would not be allowed to attend deposition.  McMahan v. McMahan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1451b(1st DCA 6/27/17)



EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in denying husband's motions to enforce marital settlement agreement, compel mediation, and compel inventory of personal property and similar items where marital settlement agreement provided that parties would divide personal property, furnishings, and similar items between themselves or mediate the division if unable to do so. Lord v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1402a (4th DCA 6/21/17)

INJUNCTION: Court may enter ex parte temporary injunction prohibiting husband in pending dissolution action from conducting specified financial transactions because it made findings that the wife was at risk of immediate and irreparable injury should the husband dissipate assets. Lerner v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1389a (4th DCA 6/21/17)

NO-CONTACT ORDER: Court erred in granting former husband's ore tenus motion for no-contact order based solely on allegations set forth by counsel where no-contact order was not requested in the pleadings, and there was no evidence in record to support order.   Martin v. Lee, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1387a (1st DCA 6/19/17)


APPEALS: Meaningful review of amounts of child support and durational alimony awards is precluded where final judgment contained material inconsistencies and did not include necessary findings of fact. Remanded for correction and findings of fact. Brown v. Brown, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1376a (5th DCA 6/16/17)


COUNSEL-DISQUALIFICATION: Court erred by disqualifying wife's attorney from representing her during family law proceeding involving her former husband where it found credible attorney's testimony that no confidential information was divulged during prospective client consultation that could harm or disadvantage former husband.  Kidd v. Kidd, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1373b (5th DCA 6/16/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Court may terminate parental rights based on prior termination of rights to two other children.  L.J. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1375c (5th DCA 6/15/17)

STALKING: Court erred in entering injunction against stalking where there was no competent substantial evidence of stalking and no stipulation to evidence of stalking. While Respondent agreed to an order prohibiting him from contacting Bockorick, there is no indication that he agreed to having engaged in stalking, or was even aware the final judgment would contain a finding of stalking.  Burns v. Bockorick, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1361c (4th DCA 6/14/17)


INJUNCTION: Claim that due process was violated by court's consideration of evidence regarding prior incidents of violence was not preserved for appellate review where there was no objection to the evidence. Faddis v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1359a (3rd DCA 6/14/17)


DEPENDENCY: Mother is entitled to evidentiary hearing on her motion for reunification.  J.G. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1358a (3rd DCA 6/14/17)


TIME-SHARING: Court must identify steps by which mother may regain unsupervised time-sharing. Curiale v. Curiale, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1346a (2nd DCA 6/9/17),%202017/2D16-5587.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT: DOR may use available state wage information in calculating child support where Father failed to provide income information. Gaut v. DOR, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1341a (2nd DCA 6/9/17),%202017/2D16-1619.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT: Court may not order former wife who failed to exercise time-sharing to pay child support prospectively. The former wife's responsible for child support only from the date she first failed to exercise time-sharing. Child support may be modified based on one parent's failure to exercise time-sharing. Andrews v. Andrews, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1340b (2nd DCA 6/9/17),%202017/2D16-238.pdf

ALIMONY: In determining alimony, court must consider tax consequences.  Librizi v. Librizzi, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1339b (2nd DCA 6/9/17),%202017/2D15-2919.pdf

INJUNCTION: Evidence that Respondent approached petitioner from his car, cursing at her, telling her he was going to "destroy" her life and make her parents cry, demonstrates a threat by Leal to be violent towards her.  Leal v. Rodriguez, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1320a (3rd DCA 6/7/17)

RELOCATION: Court erred by allowing the Husband to rebut its finding that the wife had met her burden of establishing relocation was in the best interest of the child through nothing more than a promise to change his future behavior. Solomon v. Solomon, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1301a (4th DCA 6/7/17)


ALIMONY: While a court may impute income to a spouse earning less than she could with the use of her best efforts, there must be competent, substantial evidence supporting the determination that the spouse could earn the imputed amount.   Dottaviano v. Dottaviano, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1289b (5th DCA 6/2/17)


CHILD SUPPORT-MODIFICATION: Court may not modify child support retroactively to a date before the petition to modify.   Birkmire v. Birkmire, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1289a (5th DCA 6/2/17)


MAY 2017

INJUNCTION-STALKING: Injunction for stalking reversed where there was only evidence of incident of stalking. The fact "that the parties were unable to control themselves around each other" is insufficient to sustain an injunction. One incident of violence and one incident of following is insufficient.   Kriebel v. Piedrahita, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1263a (4th DCA 5/31/17)


ALIMONY-ABILITY TO PAY: When the circumstances suggest that a self-employed spouse has not accurately reported his or her income, the court may properly assign a higher income value than that claimed by the spouse. Where it was apparent from record that former husband was earning some income from his charter business, although actual amount of income earned was not established at trial because of husband's wrongful conduct in failing to comply with wife's discovery requests and court's ensuing orders, it was error for trial court not to consider charter business income when making an alimony determination.   Newman v. Newman, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1244b (4th DCA 5/31/17)

INJUNCTIONS: Evidentiary hearings for injunctions must be recorded.   Horne v. Wolfe, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1239a (1st DCA 5/31/17)


ADOPTION: Court erred in denying adoption petition on basis that reason for adoption is to facilitate adoptee's immigration. Rodriguez v. In Re: The Adoption of Mariana Andrea Rodriguez, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1209a (3rd DCA 5/31/17)



CHILD SUPPORT-RETROACTIVE: In calculating retroactive support, trial court erred in including weekly child care expenses for period prior to date mother began incurring those expenses. H.R.N. v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1202a (2nd DCA 5/26/17),%202017/2D15-5659.pdf

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Court may not modify visitation without proper notice to DCF and proof of substantial change of circumstances. DCF v. P.I., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1181b (3rd DC 5/24/17)


GRANDPARENT VISITATION: Where grandparents were given visitation by a Colorado decree, enforceable by Full Faith and Credit Clause, they may apply to Florida court for make-up visitation.  Downs v. Ledoux-Nottingham, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1146a (5th DCA 5/19/17)


DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE-JOINDER: Stepson may be impleaded in dissolution proceeding where Wife alleges dissipation of marital assets by transferring them to the stepson.  Martinez v. Martinez, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1145a (5th DCA 5/19/17)

AMENDMENTS-FAMILY RULES: Rules for Collaborative process in family law cases.  In Re: Amendments to Rules, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S596a (FLA 5/18/17)

CONTEMPT-CHILD SUPPORT: Payment history and ability to find a job is not evidence of ability to pay. Court may not find father in contempt for nonpayment of child support without a finding of ability to pay.   Crawford v. DOR, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1112b (1st DCA 5/16/17)


CONTEMPT: Hearing officer has no authority to enter an order of contempt or to order incarceration.   Crawford v. DOR, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1112b (1st DCA 5/16/17)

CHILD SUPPORT: Because no court support order was in effect and parent had not opted out of administrative proceeding, Division of Administrative Hearings has concurrent jurisdiction to establish child support obligation. DOR v. Murillo, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1110b (1st DCA 5/16/17)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: A state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss in the divorced spouse's portion of the veteran's retirement pay caused by the veteran's waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits. Federal law completely preempts the states from treating waived military retirement pay as divisible. A state may treat as community property, and divide at divorce, a military veteran's retirement pay, but by statute this grant of permission exempts any amount that the Government deducts as a result of a waiver that the veteran must make in order to receive disability benefits. Howell v. Howell, No. 15-1031 (5/15/17)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court may not include in equitable distribution funds used for attorney's fees and costs. Rosaler v. Rosaler, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1061a (4th DCA 5/10/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Husband's loan on boat and trailer must be included in Equitable Distribution scheme. Fiscina v. Fiscina, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1057b (4th DCA 5/10/17)

INJUNCTION: Court must order DOC to allow the prisoner who seeks to dissolve and injunction to appear telephonically. Burdoo v. Plympton, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1052b (1st DCA 5/9/17)


CHILD SUPPORT-MODIFICATION: Court abused discretion by reducing child support when Husband changed job with decreased income. Robinson v. Robinson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1048a (1st DCA 5/5/17)


CHILD SUPPORT-INCOME DEDUCTION: Court abused discretion by ordering child support paid through State Disbursement Unit when not requested by either party. Robinson v. Robinson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1048a (1st DCA 5/5/17)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court abused discretion in using balances in accounts as of date of filing of petition rather than balances in accounts as of date of final hearing where accounts had been diminished during proceedings for living expenses, and there was no evidence of misconduct on part of husband. Gotro v. Gotro, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1045a (1st DCA 5/5/17)


LIFE INSURANCE: Court may not order life insurance to secure alimony without making findings of ability to pay and special circumstances warranting life insurance. Gotro v. Gotro, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1045a (1st DCA 5/5/17)


TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Where children's custodial parent died during the proceedings, father was on the verge of being released from prison, and there was no evidence that reunification would pose any specific safety risk to children, Department of Children and Families failed to prove that no measures short of termination would have been appropriate. W.W. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1042b (1st DCA 5/5/17)

INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION: Movant is entitled to a hearing on motion to dissolve injunction on grounds that he is now incarcerated, and that injunction is prohibiting his eligibility for a lower level custody and housing level and preventing participation in classes, rehabilitation programs, jobs, and transferring to certain facilities. Alston v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1040a (5th DCA 5/5/17)

REHABILITATIVE ALIMONY: Award of rehabilitative alimony remanded for Court to make findings as to Husband's ability to pay and to recognize the presumption in favor of permanent alimony for a long-term marriage. Hua v. Tsung, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1019a (4th DCA 5/3/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in failing to classify as marital asset stock which was transferred from husband's father to husband during the marriage and titled in husband's name. Hua v. Tsung, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1019a (4th DCA 5/3/17)

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage properly dismissed where Wife not served within 120 days. Isnord v. Isnord, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1009a (4th DCA 5/3/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Court properly denied biological father's motion to intervene in mother's termination of parental rights proceedings where mother was married to another man so that child was born into an existing marriage. M.L. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D999a (4th DCA 5/3/17)


APRIL 2017

CHILD CUSTODY: Court may not grant wife decision-making authority without required findings. Ziruolo v. Ziruolo, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D986a (1st DCA 4/28/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court may not make unequal distribution without required written findings. Ziruolo v. Ziruolo, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D986a (1st DCA 4/28/17)

ALIMONY: Court must base alimony award on husband's net income, not his gross income. Hanson v. Hanson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D977b (2nd DCA 4/28/17),%202017/2D16-1463.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Court may not require husband to pay wife's attorney's fees where the final judgment equalized the parties assets and incomes. Hanson v. Hanson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D977b (2nd DCA 4/28/17),%202017/2D16-1463.pdf

PATERNITY-DISESTABLISHMENT: DNA test results performed since the initial determination of paternity satisfy the statutory requirement for newly discovered evidence. DOR v. M.J.M., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D971a (2nd DCA 4/28/17),%202017/2D15-3246.pdf

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Claim on appeal that the court erred in not placing a value on the parties' marital credit card debt is abandoned if not raised in initial brief. Stephens v. Whittaker, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D961b (5th DCA 4/28/17)

CHILD SUPPORT-MODIFICATION: Father's involuntary unemployment is a substantial change of circumstances warranting modification. Strawitch v. Strawitch, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D932a (1st DCA 4/24/17)

CHILD SUPPORT-IMPUTED INCOME: Court may impute income to an incarcerated parents. Committing the acts that lead to one's incarceration is considered a voluntary act for purposes of the child support statute. Wilkerson v. Wilkerson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D918b (5th DCA 4/21/17)

CHILD SUPPORT-PLEADING: Where child support is not requested in the petition but is requesting the pretrial statement, the courts will accept the issue is being tried by implied consent. Wilkerson v. Wilkerson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D918b (5th DCA 4/21/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court must include parties' son's student and automobile loans as marital obligations and including them in equitable distribution. Wayne v. Einspar, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D917b (5th DCA 4/21/17)

TEMPORARY ALIMONY: Court must credit husband with temporary alimony payments made during pendency of dissolution action. Wayne v. Einspar, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D917b (5th DCA 4/21/17)

DEPENDENCY-UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT-MINOR: When a Florida court is presented with a dependency petition, the court's concern should be whether the allegations made in support of an adjudication of dependency satisfy Florida's statutory grounds for such an adjudication, not whether the juvenile hopes to obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. In the Interest of B.R.C.M. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S472a (FLA 2017)

CHILD SUPPORT: Worksheet trial court used to calculate child support deviated from evidence and overstated father's net income. C.J.I.-R. v. C.M., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D883b (2nd DCA 4/19/17),%202017/2D16-1577.pdf

ATTORNEY'S FEES: An award of attorney's fees without adequate findings justifying the amount of the award is reversible even where the appellant has provided an inadequate record of the trial court proceedings. The Court must make specific findings as to the hourly rate and number of hours reasonably expended in the case. Frezza v. Frezza, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D881a (2nd DCA 4/19/17),%202017/2D16-1123.pdf

INJUNCTION-DISSOLUTION-CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES: Court acted within its discretion in determining that Respondent's incarceration was an insufficient change in circumstances to dissolve the injunction entered 15 years before. Noe v. Noe, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D875a (1st DCA 4/13/17)

ALIMONY-MODIFICATION: Court may reduce alimony where Wife voluntarily cut expenses by more than half. Regan v. Regan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D828a (4th DCA 4/12/17)

IMPUTED INCOME: Court may decline to impute inc will ome to the wife when she had not been employed outside the home for the entire marriage. Regan v. Regan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D828a (4th DCA 4/12/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred by summarily awarding residence to former husband without making required findings. Brussot v. Brussot, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D818a (4th DCA 4/12/17)

PARENTING PLAN: Court erred in awarding sole parental responsibility without making a finding that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Aranda v. Padilla, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D813a (4th DCA 4/12/17)

PARENTING PLAN: Court erred in failing to consider the parties' respective financial positions in determining how to split the costs of travel for exchanging the child. Aranda v. Padilla, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D813a (4th DCA 4/12/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Error to include in valuation of wife's jewelry the value of engagement ring which husband conceded was a nonmarital asset. Fawcett v. Gainey, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D804c (5th DCA 4/7/17)

INJUNCTION: Court may not deny petition to deny petition to dissolve injunction without a hearing. Palm v. Palm, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D804a (5th DCA 4/7/17)

ALIMONYCook v. Cook, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D770b (2nd DCA 4/5/17),%202017/2D16-555.pdf

MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT-ENFORCEMENT: Claim that provision of MSA that equitably distributed husband's pension plan was ambiguous and that trial court erred in failing to take parol evidence regarding parties' intent was not preserved for appeal where issue was not raised before trial court. Sciame v. Sciame, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D770a (2nd DCA 4/5/17),%202017/2D15-5663.pdf

ALIMONY: $600 per month permanent alimony is insufficient to meet Wife but for us basic needs even though Husband has the ability to pay more. Martinez v. Martinez, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D769a (2nd DCA 4/5/17),%202017/2D15-5154.pdf

MARCH 2017

ADOPTION-STANDING: Biological son of adopting parent has no standing to challenge adoption on ground that he did not receive proper notice because he was not entitled to notice in the first place. Edwards v. Maxwell, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D742a (1st DCA 3/31/17)

APPEALS-EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION-GIFT: Proper standard of review of trial court's finding whether a spouse had a donative intent to establish interspousal gift is competent substantial evidence not preponderance of evidence. Hooker v. Hooker, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S396a (FLA 3/ 30/17)

COUNTER-PETITION: Court erred in failing to consider Wife's pro se pleading entitled "Reply" as both an answer and counter-petition. Patel v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D728a (3rd DCA 3/29/17)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Trial court erred in applying its own formula, designed to disincentivize future litigation, rather than relying on the financial condition of each spouse as set out in the relevant statute, in awarding attorney's fees and costs. Funny case. Rorrer v. Orban, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D721b (3rd DCA 3/29/17)

A charging lien is an equitable right to have costs and fees due an attorney for services in the suit secured to him in the judgment or recovery in that particular suit. Charging lien may attach to assets awarded in equitable distribution. Menz & Battista v. Ramos, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D716b (4th DCA 3/29/17)

PATERNITY: Where paternity had been established in a foreign court, Florida court is not authorized to order DNA testing. DOR v. Silva, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D694a (5th DCA 3/24/17)

INEQUITABLE CONDUCT: Court has the inherent authority under the inequitable conduct doctrine to award attorney fees as a sanction where one party has exhibited egregious conduct or acted in bad faith but the him former wife's refusal to accede to the former husband's request for increased timesharing out of court does not constitute bad faith. Myrick v. Myrick, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D692a (2nd DCA 3/24/17),%202017/2D15-3181.pdf

FAMILY LAW RULES OF PROCEDURE-AMENDMENT: Extensive amendments to Family Law Rules of Procedure. Fam.L.R.P. are now stand-alone from rules of civil procedure. Amendment, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S319a (FLA 3/16/17)

ATTORNEYS-DISQUALIFICATION: Where Father's attorney in a guardianship case had shared confidential information with the children's attorney prior to being hired by Defendant, he must be disqualified. Lopez v. Flores, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D630a (3rd DCA 3/15/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in distributing marital assets and liabilities without including value of items in final judgment. Pierre v. Jonassaint, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D628a (3rd DCA 3/15/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Passive appreciation of value of property is the loan-to-value ratio computed at the time of the marriage is multiplied by the current fair market value, then the current mortgage is subtracted. Viscito v. Viscito, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D627c (3rd DCA 3/15/17)

MARRIAGE-FOREIGN DOMESTIC UNION: A domestic union is not a marriage under Israeli law. Cohen v. Shushan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D601a (2nd DCA 3/15/17),%202017/2D15-4629.pdf

DICTIONARY WARS-ONLY: "[A]s a matter of statutory construction, the term "only," although capable of varying meanings depending on the context of its use as an adverb or an adjective, ordinarily imposes some limiting function over the term or phrase it modifies." Cohen v. Shushan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D601a (2nd DCA 3/15/17),%202017/2D15-4629.pdf

QUOTATION: "[M]arriage, under the law, is not simply a bundle of rights and privileges; it is also a status. While we sense from the case before us that the line, as it were, between the statuses of reputed spouses and married couples in Israel has drawn closer over time, perhaps to a point of near proximity, even near equivalency, nevertheless. . . that line remains firmly entrenched. For better or for worse, under Israeli law marriage is a different legal relationship than a reputed spouse relationship. To borrow from another ceremonious phrase, the two have not become one." Cohen v. Shushan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D601a (2nd DCA 3/15/17),%202017/2D15-4629.pdf

PATERNITY: Court may not enter a final judgment after default without an evidentiary hearing regarding the allegations of excusable neglect, nor without making findings regarding the best interest of the child and including a method by which the mother could establish timesharing with the child. Gonzalez v. Hewitt, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D582b (5th DCA 3/10/17)

CHILD CUSTODY: Court erred in giving former husband ultimate decision-making authority without specifying areas over which he can exercise that authority. McClure v. Beck, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D557a (4th DCA 3/8/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in failing to classify as marital or nonmarital debt a parent PLUS loan husband incurred on behalf of parties' daughter for her education and to distribute this debt accordingly. Conlin v. Conlin, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D501a (2nd DCA 3/1/17),%202017/2D16-1442.pdf


CONTEMPT: Court may not order automatic future contempt and incarceration without hearing; to do so violates Due Process. Pattison v. Pattison, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D489b (1st DCA 2/24/17)

QUOTATION: "Finally, the former husband claims that the trial judge's 'compulsion' to assist the. . .litigants went astray . .Using golf parlance, he ruminates whether the trial judge has 'wander[ed] hopeless into the rough along the fairway' by perhaps 'nudg[ing] the ball back onto the fairway to speed play for the judge's own preference.' Oddly. . .[he focused] on perceived slights. . . for which he claims entitlement to a do-over. In golf lingo, this claim is a whiff. . . for which no mulligan. . . is allowed. Pattison v. Pattison, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D489b (1st DCA 2/24/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Where husband and his sister each owned half interest in parcel prior to parties' marriage, and after parties were married husband acquired sister's half interest using marital funds, trial court erred in finding that entire parcel, including half interest owned by husband prior to marriage, was a marital asset. Landrum v. Landrum, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D489a (1st DCA 2/24/17)

CONTEMPT: Court may not find husband in contempt for failing to pay alimony without finding that he had the present ability to pay. Brown v. Brown, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D484b (5th DCA 2/24/17)

INJUNCTION-MODIFICATION: Party moving to modify or dissolve a temporary injunction does not need to establish changed circumstances. Denial of a motion to modify or dissolve a temporary injunction is an abuse of discretion where a party can demonstrate clear legal error or misapprehension of facts on part of trial court. Planned Parenthood is a physician's practice; Court's finding to the contrary is not supported by evidence. Planned Parenthood v. MMB Properties, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S204a (FLA 2/23/17)

Court must include in its calculation of Wife's gross monthly income the value of mortgage payments made by Husband as in kind contributions. Schalfstall v. Schafstall, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D467b (3rd DCA 2/22/17)

Order disqualifying wife's counsel from representing her in pending divorce proceedings after counsel failed to appear for deposition was overbroad. Riddle v. Riddle, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D445a 4th DCA 2/22/17)

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE: It is an abuse of discretion to deny motion for continuance of final hearing where Wife established a need to complete a forensic accounting of husband's business. Ramadon v. Ramadon, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D432a (2nd DCA 2/17/17),%202017/2D14-5843.pdf

ABORTION: Mandatory Delay Law, which imposes a 24 hour waiting period on women will seeking to terminate their pregnancies is likely an unconstitutional infringement on the right to privacy under Florida Constitution, Article 1, §23. Temporary Injunction against the law was properly entered. Gainesville Women's Care v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S183a (FLA 2/16/17)

APPEALS-TIMELINESS: "Billable hours, client pressures, and law school debt escalate attorney stress; so too with figuring out filing deadlines. What seems simple often isn't, and what seems complex typically is. Take this court's order of December 27, 2016, which said that the "answer brief shall be filed within 15 days of the date of this order." Fifteen calendar days from the order was January 11, 2017, but the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) waited until January 17, 2017, to file its answer brief. . .Because this Court's order specified that filing was to occur by a date certain, the GAL's brief was untimely and subject to being stricken." C.M v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D428a (1st DCA 2/16/17)

CHILD SUPPORT: Calculus of child support must take account of the cost of health insurance and deduct monthly premium payments from the monthly income. Ryans v. Bell, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D384a (2nd DCA 2/10/17),%202017/2D15-3933.pdf

INJUNCTION: Injunction against domestic violence is not warranted where the petition alleged only a single incident of domestic violence 4 years earlier and attempts to contact petitioner by phone and Facebook. Zapiola v. Kordecki, 42 Fla. L. Weekly (2nd DCA 2/10/17),%202017/2D16-820.pdf

Termination of parental rights is appropriate where there is uncontested evidence that the inference suffered 14 fractures the 14 different bones in separate incidents and parents gave conflict thing explanations. S.P.R. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D375a (2nd DCA 2/10/17),%202017/2D16-3011.pdf

Final Judgment was defective for failing to impute interest on retirement account, awarding attorney's fees without findings as to hourly rate, number of hours reasonably expended, and appropriateness of reduction or enhancement factors, requiring Husband to maintain life insurance without factual findings on availability, cost, ability to pay, and special circumstances. Duke v. Duke, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D372e (5th DCA 2/10/17)

CHILD SUPPORT-RETROACTIVE: Former wife lacked standing to seek retroactive child support for the first time over three years after child's 18th birthday with no showing that child was otherwise legally dependent under section 743.07(2) or that such support was otherwise agreed to by parties. Garcia-Lawson v. Lawson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D343b (4th DCA 2/8/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in including in post-judgment QDRO a provision awarding former husband an equitable lien upon wife's equitable distribution interest in former husband's retirement benefits as a remedy for former wife's failure to make an equalization payment. Garcia Lawson v. Lawson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D348a (4th DCA 2/8/17)

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: Court erred in requiring husband to pay past-due rent to wife for period during which he resided in home despite settlement agreement providing that wife would have exclusive use and possession of home where claim for past-due rent was not raised in pleadings or tried by consent. Hudson v. Hudson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D324a (1st DCA 2/7/17)

APPEALS-CONTEMPT-INDIRECT: Although indirect criminal contempt proceeding was given a misdemeanor case number, it was a circuit court case because it arose from a family circuit court matter. Appeal should have been to the DCA, not to the Circuit Court. Johnson v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D315c (5th DCA 2/3/17)

MODIFICATION: Trial court violated wife's due process rights by significantly modifying her timesharing with children when the only matter scheduled to be addressed at hearing was location for timesharing exchange. Barsis v. Barsis, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D315b (5th DCA 2/3/17)

Court erred in vesting therapist with the decision-making authority as to time -sharing, and mother in selection of replacement therapist. Munoz v. Munoz, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D306a (2nd DCA 2/3/17).,%202017/2D16-1604.pdf

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Putative father who did not register with the Florida Putative Fathers Registry is not entitled to notice of termination proceedings. A.A.F. v. D.C.F., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D285a (4th DCA 2/1/17)


CHILD SUPPORT-GROSS UP: Court may use "gross-up method" only when time-sharing schedule,provides for at least 20 percent of the overnights of the year. Knight v. Knight, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D282a (1st DCA 1/31/17)

Child support should be applied retroactively from the time Father stopped exercising parenting time. Knight v. Knight, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D282a (1st DCA 1/31/17)

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Court may not adjudicate children dependent based on father's arrests on drug-related charges without evidence of the circumstances of the arrest or harm to the children. M.S. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D283b (5th DCA 1/30/17)

PATERNITY: Attorney's fees are allowed for appeals defending a paternity case. Conflict certified, prior precedent receded from. Beckford v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D280a (4th DCA 1/27/17)

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE-BANK RECORDS: Bank records are not admissible solely because they were disclosed pursuant to rule 12.285. Washburn v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D243a (4th DCA 1/25/17)

Court did not err in denying the motion of the parents whose parental rights had not yet been terminated to transfer custody from pre-adoptive foster parents to the child's grandparent. E.Q. v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D225a (3rd DCA 1/25/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION-MARITAL HOME: Court did not err in awarding Wife exclusive use of the marital home with a 50-50 split upon remarriage, rather than awarding sole possession of the home to the Wife. Morgan v. Morgan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D186a (4th DCA 1/18/17)

Wife waived claim for alimony by agreeing to possession of the marital home instead of alimony. Morgan v. Morgan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D186a (4th DCA 1/18/17)

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Child who was abused by her father and brother in Guatemala but cared for by a sister in Florida is not dependent [Unstated: Because child is not dependent, she will be deported]. M.P.L. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D180a (4th DCA 1/18/17)

court may not award permanent alimony without considering all statutory factors. Court cannot order Husband to maintain life insurance as security for alimony without findings as to cost and availability showing of need or stating the amount of insurance. Jimenez v. Jimenez, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D177a (4th DCA 1/18/17)

Provision allowing former husband to relocate to anywhere in the cunning United States without approval from former wife does not comply with statutory requirements. Horn v. Horn, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D175a (1st DCA 1/17/17)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Former wife is entitled to attorney's fees under marital settlement agreement where she prevailed on the only significant issues. Larkin v. Larkin, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D167a (5th DCA 1/13/17)

Proper venue for former husband's petition to register foreign decree order in Florida was the county where the former wife resided with the child. Nunez-Miller v. Miller, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D162a (5th DCA 1/13/17)

SERVICE OF PROCESS: Substituted service of process is ineffective where Plaintiff failed to mail a copy of process to Defendant by certified mail, failed to file a return receipt, and failed to file its counsel's affidavit of compliance. Green Emerald Homes v. PNC Bank, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D161a (5th DCA 1/13/17)

Court did not abuse discretion by denying former wife buttressed motion to reopen case to receive new evidence that her employment had been terminated. Loftis v. Loftis, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D160a (5th DCA 1/13/17)

INJUNCTIONS-STALKING: Court erred in entering injunction against stalking where petitioner failed to prove at least 2 incidents of harassment. Butt dialing is not harassment. Carter v. Malken, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D120a (4th DCA 1/4/17).

Court cannot deny a name change mailing on the basis that petitioner had prior convictions or was a judgment debtor. In re: Zimmer, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D112a (4th DCA 1/4/17)

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