Family & Divorce Case Law

MAY 2018

ALIMONY: Court erred in determining amount of prospective durational alimony without considering tax consequences.  Persaud v. Persaud, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1146d (2nd DCA 5/18/18)


CHILD SUPPORT-RETROACTIVE: Court erred in using unpaid retroactive alimony when calculating wife's income for purpose of determining her retroactive child support obligation.   Persaud v. Persaud, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1146d (2nd DCA 5/18/18)

IMPUTED INCOME: Court properly imputed income to Wife who had worked for ten years with her claimed disabilities and had made substantial income. U.S. Census Bureau median income for full time workers must be imputed when the evidence is insufficient for the court to make an individualized determination of imputed income for the parent.   Heard v. Perales, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1121a (4th DCA 5/16/18)1


MSA: Where MSA indicated that husband had right to have house sold or to refinance house in his own name and buy wife out of the home for 50% of the equity if wife failed to refinance mortgage within six months of dissolution of marriage, Court erred by directing that the parties evenly split the proceeds of the forced sale of their home, as 50% provision applied only if husband refinanced house in his own name and bought out former wife's interest. Sealy v. Sealy, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1119a (4th DCA 5/16/18)



DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE-PATERNITY: A husband who is not the natural or adoptive parent of a child, and has not otherwise contracted for the child's care and support, has no duty to pay child support upon the dissolution of the marriage. Court must make specific findings in regards to children born or conceived during the marriage but for whom the Husband is not the father.   Davis v. Davis, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1118a (4th DCA 5/16/18)



INJUNCTION-MOOTNESS: Injunctions against domestic violence are not rendered moot by their natural expiration because of collateral consequences, i.e. prohibition on possessing a firearm, etc. Injunctions against stalking, however, are rendered moot by their natural expiration.   Molina v. Valenzuela, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1115a (4th DCA 5/16/18)


MSA: Hearing required to interpret ambiguous provision of FRS plan providing for wife to receive 50% of Husband's retirement.   Fazio v. Fazio, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1113a (4th DCA 5/16/18)


CONTEMPT-INDIRECT: Court failed to follow requirements for indirect contempt by issuing writ of bodily attachment.   Bajcar v. Bajcar, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1092a (3d DCA 5/16/18)


MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: A latent ambiguity exists where a contract fails to specify the rights and duties of the parties in certain situations and extrinsic evidence is necessary for the interpretation or a choice between two possible meanings. When a latent ambiguity exists, the court must hear parol evidence to interpret the writing properly. Where MSA anticipated that Husband's inheritance would be given him in a lump sum and it turns out that he got it through disbursements from a trust fund, the Court must consider parol evidence to interpret the MSA intent. When considering parol evidence concerning the parties' intent, a reasonable interpretation is preferred over one which is unreasonable, and an interpretation that leads to an absurd result or that nullifies other provisions of the contract should be avoided. Morrison v. Morrison, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1074a (2nd DCA 5/11/18).


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in distributing marital value of depleted investment account to wife absent specific finding that dissipation of account resulted from intentional misconduct. Depleting an asset to pay attorney's fees in the divorce case is insufficient, without a finding of misconduct, to warrant assigning the depleted asset as part of the equitable distribution plan.  Bellows v. Bellows, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1048a (4th DCA 5/9/18)



CONTEMPT-INDIRECT-FAILURE TO PAY ALIMONY: Due process is violated when former husband is not given motion for contempt until the time of the hearing. A party must have actual notice of and time to prepare for a contested hearing. Two days notice is insufficient notice of a contempt hearing.   Kane v. Kane, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1023a (3rd DCA 5/9/18)


APRIL 2018


CHILD CUSTODY-BEST INTERESTS: Following the death of the mother, because stepfather was not a natural parent, use of best interest of child standard to determine temporary custody was error. Biological father should have been awarded custody of child unless stepfather proved either that father was unfit or that remaining with biological father would result in demonstrable harm to child.  Morris v. Morris43 Fla. L. Weekly D952b (1st DCA 4/30/18)


CONTEMPT: An injunction order must be obeyed until vacated or modified reversed on appeal the matter how unreasonable or erroneous. Kozel v. Kozel, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D950a (2nd DCA 4/27/18)


TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Father is entitled to attend hearing in which court determined whether termination of parental rights was in the children's manifest best interests. R.E.B. v. DCF, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D947a (5th DCA 4/27/18)


ALIMONY-ABILITY TO PAY: Temporary order of child support and alimony leaving the Husband with $300 per month is excessive.  De la Piedra v. De la Piedra, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D940a (1st DCA 4/25/18)

TIME-SHARING: Statute allowing military servicemember to designate family member to exercise time-sharing rights while the servicemember is under temporary assignment orders to relocate away from the child does not apply in instant case in which service member's assignment was a permanent change in station.  Overstreet v. Overstreet, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D937c (1st DCA 4/25/18)


MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: Court erred when it interpreted MSA addendum as unambiguously treating former husband's sale or refinance of former marital home as condition precedent to his obligation to pay former wife's equitable distribution. Agreement failed to specify when and how husband would become obligated to make equitable distribution payment to wife if sale or refinance did not occur.  Kirschner v. Ramsier, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D929a (4th DCA 4/25/18)

TIMESHARING: Court did not err by accepting stipulated fifty/fifty timesharing without making a specific best interests finding. Issue not preserved.  Daniels v. Caparello, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D878a (1st DCA 4/20/18)

CONTEMPT-TIMESHARING: Court may not modify timesharing schedule as sanction for failure to provide her physical address.  Lewis v. Juliano, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D845a (4th DCA 4/18/18)



TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: DCF is not required to offer mother case plan before turning parental rights. K.D. v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D787a (1st DCA 4/13/18)


CHILD CUSTODY-MODIFICATION: Due process prohibits court from granting verified emergency motion to suspend timesharing agreement where father was given only 19 hours' notice of hearing.  Ferris v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D752a (2nd DCA 4/6/18)

CHILD CUSTODY-MODIFICATION: Court may not provide relief which is not requested in the petition for modification, regardless of whether there is a substantial change of circumstances.   Russell v. Russell, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D735c (1st DCA 4/5/18)


MARCH 2018


CHILD SUPPORT-INCOME: Court may not factor in business losses in income calculation when evidence was conclusory.  Crespo v. Lebron, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D684a (5th DCA 3/29/18)

INJUNCTION: Evidence supports injunction for protection of child and 100% parenting time after drunk father on New Year's Eve, among other things, played television loudly (wife cut the TV cord), husband got the wife out of bed by flipping the mattress, and husband threatened to send her back to Russia. Zarudny v. Zarudny, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D669b (3rd DCA 3/28/18)


DEPENDENCY: Due Process violated when goal is changed from reuinification to permanent guardianship without three day prior notice.  A.R. v. DCF, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D609a (2nd DCA 3/16/18)


CHILD CUSTODY-ATTORNEY'S FEES: Final Judgment must contain factual findings justifiying attorney's fees or time-sharing.  Brown v. Brown, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D607a (2nd DCA 3/16/18)

CONTEMPT: Failure to include in motion for contempt that failure to appear might result in writ of bodily attachment and incarceration did not adversely affect husband's due process rights.  Carter v. Hart, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D599 (5th DCA 3/16/18)

ALIMONY: Although court may order both durational and permanent alimony, only perament alimony should be ordered when there is ongoing need.  Hedden v. Hedden, Fla. L. Weekly D598a (5th DCA 3/16/18)


ALIMONY: Courts may not base alimony on unrealized possibilities, such as anticipation of social security. Hedden v. Hedden, Fla. L. Weekly D598a (5th DCA 3/16/18)

TIMESHARING: Court erred in delegating authority to determine visitation to therapists and the guardian ad litem. Subramanian v. Subramanian, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D569a (4th DCA 3/14/18)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Promissory notes and a debt consolidation loan incurred after date of filing of petition for dissolution of marriage are not marital debts. Subramanian v. Subramanian, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D569a (4th DCA 3/14/18)



ATTORNEY'S FEES: Error to award attorney's fees without determining need or ability to pay.  Ringenberg v. Ringenberg, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D554b (1st DCA 3/8/18)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in including in equitable distribution scheme the value of thrift savings plan liquidated by husband without making specific finding of misconduct.  Jones v. Jones, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D553b (1st DCA 3/8/18)

INJUNCTION-STALKING: Provision of injunction for protection against stalking enjoining respondent from coming within 500 feet of petitioner/neighbor's house was overbroad, as it seemingly deprived respondent of all lawful use of his property, including his right of ingress and egress from the neighborhood. When an action has been tried by the court without a jury, the sufficiency of the evidence to support the judgment may be raised on appeal whether or not the party raising the question has made any objection thereto in the trial court or made a motion for rehearing, for new trial, or to alter or amend the judgment. Givens v. Holmes, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D532a (2nd DCA 3/7/18)


WEIRD: "This record . . . reflects that Mr. Givens lodged an objection at his earliest opportunity, albeit the judge had exited the courtroom and was not privy to the objection."  Givens v. Holmes, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D532a (2nd DCA 3/7/18)

ADOPTION: Father who wants Mother's right terminated in favor of grandparent adoption is not a petitioner.   I.B. v. In Re: Adoption of Z.E.S., 43 Fla. L. Weekly D511d (4th DCA 3/7/18)


FOREIGN DIVORCE-RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: It would be inequitable to allow the former husband to attack the validity of the 2000 Jordanian divorce decree in 2015 after having relied on it to marry and dissolve his 2011 marriage to the former wife.   Albassam v. Klob, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D509a (4th DCA 3/7/18)


TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Unless there is clear and convincing evidence of abandonment, Father's consent is required for TPR and relative adoption. Failure to pay support is not conclusive to support a finding of abandonment. S.M.K. v. S.L.E., 43 Fla. L. Weekly D502a (5th DCA 3/2/18)




EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in characterizing payments to be made from husband to wife for her one-half interest in amount to be received from sale of marital business as support enforceable by contempt.  Stufft v. Stufft, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D446b (5th DCA 2/23/18)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Property deeded to adult sons is not subject to Equitable Distribution.  Perez v. Perez, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D444c (5th DCA 2/23/18)


ALIMONY: Alimony should be based on net, not gross, income, and must be supported by specific findings on need and ability to pay. $1750 per month in alimony is reversed.  Perez v. Perez, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D444c (5th DCA 2/23/18)

APPEAL-PATERNITY-TRANSCRIPT: Judgment affirmed in the absence of a transcript. Pitcher v. Schneider, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D442a (5th DCA 2/23/18)


ALIMONY: Court abused its discretion by giving retroactive effect to alimony modification so as to charge wife with an obligation resulting from past overpayments by former husband, especially since former wife has suffered a stroke. Millan v. Millan, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D351a (2nd DCA 2/14/18)

MSA: Where settlement agreement provided for former wife to have sole possession of a piece of marital property until the parties' daughter finished four years of college, and for the former husband to be entitled to 50% of the net proceeds upon sale of the property by former wife, trial court erred in finding that agreement did not require former wife to sell the property after the daughter finished four years of college. Wells v. Wells, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D346a (2nd DCA 2/14/18)

INJUNCTION-JURISDICTION: Court has no jurisdiction to enter injunction for protection against domestic violence against non-resident who has no contacts with Florida except that his children and a brother live in Florida. Fact that party has traveled to Florida did not give rise to personal jurisdiction.  Youssef v. Zaitouni, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D345a (2nd DCA 2/14/18)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Once it determined by clear and convincing evidence that child was conceived through unlawful sexual battery, trial court was required to presume that termination of father's parental rights was in best interests of child in absence of credible evidence showing otherwise. Guardian ad Litem v. C.W, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D333a (2nd DCA 2/9/19)

ALIMONY-CHILD SUPPORT: Court erred in using unpaid retroactive alimony when calculating wife's income for purpose of determining her retroactive child support obligation.  Persaud v. Persaud, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D329a (2nd DCA 2/9/18)

ALIMONY: Court erred in determining amount of prospective durational alimony without considering tax consequences. Persaud v. Persaud, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D329a (2nd DCA 2/9/18)

INJUNCTION: Court may not enter an injunction against sexual violence when the children denied the allegations during the videotaped interview with the Child Protection Team and there were no eyewitnesses to the alleged abuse. The mother claiming that the children said the Respondent had molested them is insufficient.   Keller v. Ramseyer, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D317b (5th DCA 2/9/18)

VENUE: Court erred in denying motion for change of venue to county in which parties last resided with intent to remain married.  Diaz v. Vasquez, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D297c (4th DCA 2/7/18)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION:  Court abused its discretion by using par value of stock as means of assessing value of former husband's business.  Soria v. Soria, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D293a(2nd DCA 2/7/18)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in valuing the balance of former husband's bank account at time dissolution petition was filed and assigning that balance to husband rather than using the diminished value of the account at time of hearing where account was diminished to pay marital expenses and there was no evidence of misconduct on part of former husband.   Stewart v. Stewart, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D290a (1st DCA 2/5/18)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred in assigning an enhanced value of former husband's pre-marital company to him where former wife failed to show that any enhancement resulted from marital labor.  Stewart v. Stewart, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D290a (1st DCA 2/5/18)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Award of attorney's fees cannot be based solely on disparity of income.  Burnett v. Burnett, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D288a (1st DCA 2/5/18)


ALIMONY: Court erred in ordering former husband to secure alimony with life insurance without findings regarding availability and cost of insurance, former husband's ability to pay, and special circumstances that warrant security.   Burnett v. Burnett, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D288a (1st DCA 2/5/18)


ATTORNEY'S FEES: Court erred in awarding former wife attorney's fees without findings regarding each party's need and ability to pay.  Nassirou v. Borba, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D287a (1st DCA 2/5/18)


CONTEMPT: Order holding former wife in contempt for sending former husband vitriolic text and voicemail messages and ordering former wife to pay former husband $100,000 was a criminal contempt order rather than a civil contempt order where the fine included no purge provision. Because court failed to afford former wife requisite protections for a criminal contempt order, the order is reversed. Ash v. Campion, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D285c (1st DCA 2/5/18)


ALIMONY: Court erred by denying award of alimony on ground that former wife was in a supportive relationship without making findings about the extent of the relationship. Only those relationships that are substantially equivalent to a remarriage warrant a reduction of alimony.  Bruce v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D284a (5th DCA 2/2/18)

ALIMONY-MODIFICATION-JURISDICTION: Court has jurisdiction to modify duration of alimony where the petition was filed in same court where final judgments were executed. Ispass v. Ispass, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D278a (5th DCA 2/2/18)

CHOICE OF LAW: Court may not disregard agreement's choice of law provision without determining whether Israel's law would contravene Florida's public policy.  Gal v. Gal, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D276d (5th DCA 2/2/18)

INJUNCTION-SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Requiring a psychosexual evaluation of respondent is overly broad where it fails to specify the time place physician's name and manner, conditions and scope of the evaluation.  Curtis v. Reinhardt, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D276a (5th DCA 2/2/18)


TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Neither incarceration nor inability to financially the child due to incarceration alone warrants termination of parental rights. B.F. v. DCF, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D255a (4th DCA 1/31/18)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: The fact that the court made substantial changes to DCF's proposed termination order indicates that the court exercised independent judgments. D.R. v. DCF, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D253a (1st DCA 1/31/18)

INJUNCTION: Court is not required to stay the hearing on a permanent injunction on the basis that going forward would jeopardize 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in a pending criminal case.   Speegle v. Rhoden, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D245a (1st DCA 1/26/18)

MSA: Absent any evidence that the parties intended to endow a special meaning in the terms used in the agreement, the unambiguous language is to be given a realistic interpretation based upon the plain, everyday meaning conveyed by the words.  Kirschner v. Ramsier, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D209a (4th DCA 1/24/18)


PARENTING PLAN: Court may not prohibit all contact with one parent without detailed factual findings so justifying. Verrier v. Oaks, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D191a (2nd DCA 1/19/18)


INJUNCTION: Court may not summarily deny motion to dissolve injunction for protection against repeat violence without affording movant meaningful opportunity to be heard.   Leija v. Byrd, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D161a (1st DCA 1/17/18)

INJUNCTION-STALKING: Only one incident of stalking is sufficient basis for an injunction. Stalking is by definition repeated acts. Driving by a house only one time is not stalking.  Pickett v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D159b (1st DCA 1/17/18)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: It is permissible to award attorney's fees to Defendant in baseless dating, repeat, and sexual violence injunction proceedings. Lopez v. Hall, 43 Fla. L. Weekly S11a (FLA 1/11/18)

TIMESHARING: Hearing is required to determine by extrinsic evidence the intent of parties in an ambiguous timesharing clause of MSA. Wohlberg v. Connor, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D134a (4th DCA 1/10/18)


CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Court improperly disqualified attorney in divorce case on the basis that the attorney had drafted a prenuptial agreement in the absence of a sworn motion and sworn allegations supporting a conflict.  Furman v. Furman, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D113a (2nd DCA 1/5/18)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court must make specific findings as to whether property is marital or not.  Price v. Price, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D112a (2nd DCA 1/5/18)

DEPENDENCY: Court is required to make specific factual findings as to each ground in order to make a proper determination with regard to dependency. Court may not make a blanket determination that there are no grounds for dependency.  Guardian Ad Litem v. K.W. and K.W., 43 Fla. L. Weekly D110a (2nd DCA 1/5/18)

RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: Allegations that husband's agreement to mediated settlement agreement was result of coercion and duress constituted intrinsic fraud subject to one-year limitation for seeking relief from judgment. Robinson v. Robinson, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D102a (1st DCA 1/3/18)


PATERNITY: Court erred in granting petition to disestablish paternity on basis of newly discovered evidence demonstrating that petitioner is not biological father of child without making findings that newly discovered evidence relating to paternity has come to petitioner's knowledge since initial paternity determination and that scientific test to show probability of paternity was properly conducted. DOR v. Augustin, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D93a (3rd DCA 1/3/18)



INJUNCTION: Court may not deny a motion to dissolve a domestic violence injunction without affording movant a meaningful opportunity to be heard.  Gaynor v. Inod, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D78d (1st DCA 12/29/17)

CONTEMPT: Court erred in striking husband's alimony pleading as sanction for failure to comply with previous discovery order in absence of express finding that husband acted deliberately and willfully.  Lockett v. Lockett, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D74b (2nd DCA 12/27/17)


HEALTH CARE COSTS: Children's health care costs must be apportioned pro rata, not equally.  Lockett v. Lockett, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D74b (2nd DCA 12/27/17)


INJUNCTION-STALKING: Injunction for protection is improperly entered where the evidence established anonymous letters, something spewed on Petitioner's chair, and petitioner learning that Respondent had been tracking her and her boyfriend on social media. Petitioner must establish emotional distress.   Akin v. Jacobs, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D33a (5th DCA 12/22/17)

INJUNCTION: Court may not take over questioning beyond clearing up matters without forfeiting role as a neutral arbiter. (Lambert, concurring).      Akin v. Jacobs, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D33a (5th DCA 12/22/17)

ALIMONY: Court may not order that durational alimony be non-modifiable.  Brunsman v. Brunsman, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D31a (5th DCA 12/22/17)


LIFE INSURANCE: Court may not order life insurance to ensure alimony without making findings as to the cost of the insurance, the amount being required, and any special circumstances justifying the need.   Brunsman v. Brunsman, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D31a (5th DCA 12/22/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Evidence did not support termination based on mother's refusal or failure to complete, within 3-year period immediately preceding TPR petition, available treatment for chronic use of alcohol or controlled substance.   J.K. v. DCF, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D18a (4th DCA 12/20/17)

JURISDICTION: Court that has issued child support order retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its order where that state remains the residence of the obligor, the obligee, or the child.  Ivko v. Ger, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1a (3rd DCA 12/20/17)

INJUNCTION-STALKING: Injunction for protection against stalking was not supported by competent, substantial evidence where, although petitioner claimed to have documentation of numerous phone calls, emails, and texts made and sent by respondent, record contained no such documentation.  Reid v. Saunders, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2666a (1st DCA 12/19/17)

AMENDMENT-RULES: Form for contempt for failure to pay child support requires notice that inability to pay is a defense. In Re: Amendments to Family Law Forms, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S960a (FLA 12/14/17)

INJUNCTION-STALKING: Injunction for stalking is improper where Respondent made repeated calls and texts to husband's girlfriend to try to get in touch with her husband. Ashford-Cooper v. Ruff, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2636a (1st DCA 11/13/17)

CONTEMPT: Where MSA gave wife exclusive possession of marital home and clearly stated that wife would reside in home with children, and no one else, husband's obligation to pay one-half of mortgage on marital home was an aspect of support enforceable by contempt.  Dufour v. Damiani, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2627a (4th DCA 12/13/17)

CONTEMPT: Civil contempt motion may be served by US mail.  DOR v. Baker, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2623a (4th DCA 12/13/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Unmarried biological father is deemed to have waived and surrendered any rights in relation to child where he did not file notarized claim of paternity form with Florida Putative Father Registry. Family Creations v. N.E.M.,42 Fla. L. Weekly D2589a (2nd DCA 12/13/17)


RETAINING LIEN: Court may not enforce retaining lien against husband's undifferentiated arrearage of alimony and child support held in attorney's trust account.  Macci v. Jaeger and Jaeger, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2575a (4th DCA 12/6/17)

MODIFICATION: The date of the MSA, not the filing date of the final dissolution judgment, is the operative date from which to assess whether a subsequent substantial change in circumstances (retirement) justified an alimony modification has occurred. Dogoda v. Dogoda, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2549a (2nd DCA 12/6/17),%202017/2D16-4447.pdf

CHILD SUPPORT-RETROACTIVE: Court erred in awarding former wife retroactive child support for a period before former wife filed motion seeking child support. Golchin v. Farzaneh, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2539a (5th DCA 12/1/17)




DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE: Court violated due process by converting final hearing for annulment into an evidentiary hearing without notice and conducting the final hearing in the husband's absence.  Messing v. Nieradka, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2530a (2nd DCA 11/29/17 ),%202017/2D16-2027.pdf


ATTORNEY' S FEES: Court erred in concluding that former wife should be judicially estopped from claiming entitlement to attorney's fees and costs awarded to her in prebankruptcy dissolution of marriage proceedings on ground that wife had failed to disclose the fee award as an asset in her bankruptcy petition where wife consistently maintained that the fee award was not an asset of bankruptcy estate and totality of circumstances does not support finding that former wife intended to make mockery of justice.  Chittum v. Chittum, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2520a (2nd DCA 11/29/17),%202017/2D15-4578rh.pdf

: Prenuptial agreements regarding post-dissolution support are contracts.   Gallerani v. Piquet, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2508a (3rd DCA 11/29/17)


GARNISHMENT: Court may issue a continuing writ of garnishment to an employer to enforce the order of the court for periodic payment of alimony or child support. Continuing writ of garnishment is not available to collect judgment for attorney's fees. Martinez v., Inc., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2479a (3rd DCA 11/22/17)

LIFE INSURANCE: Court erred in requiring wife to maintain life insurance to secure alimony without making required findings regarding need, cost and availability, and financial impact of obligation.  Shimer v. Corey, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2467a (2nd DCA 11/22/17),%202017/2D15-3485.pdf


INJUNCTION-STALKING: Wife may not obtain an injunction for stalking against a woman who had been having an affair with her husband and kept coming to the house to see the husband. Injunction may only be entered when the petitioner is the person stalked.  Dixon v. Sermon, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2453a (2nd DCA 11/17/17),%202017/2D16-3585.pdf

GUARDIANSHIP: Court may order mother to stay away from her own mother (guardian of the children). Court may act sua sponte in the best interests of minor children when appropriate.  A.S. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2425a (3rd DCA 11/15/17)


ALIMONY: Court erred in basing alimony award on parties' respective gross incomes, rather than net incomes. Brady v. Brady, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2412b (5th DCA 11/9/17)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Court erred in ordering $5000 in attorney's fees without making findings as to reasonable hourly rate and reasonable number of hours expended. Brady v. Brady, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2412b (5th DCA 11/9/17)

LIFE INSURANCE: Court erred in requiring that wife maintain life insurance policy as security for her alimony obligation without making findings as to insurability, cost of proposed insurance, ability to afford insurance, and whether appropriate circumstances existed to justify ordering wife to maintain life insurance.   Brady v. Brady, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2412b (5th DCA 11/9/17)

ALIMONY: Alimony calculations must take into account parties' payment of marital debt.  Dowling v. Dowling, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2376a (1st DCA 11/6/17)


CHILD SUPPORT: Final Judgment must address needs of children, overall financial circumstances of parties, or any other factor in section 61.30. "A trial court has an independent duty to determine the appropriateness of child support provisions in a marital settlement agreement before incorporating them into a final judgment of dissolution." This duty exists because child support is a right that belongs to the child. Parents may not contract away or waive the rights of their child for support.   Lancaster v. Lancaster, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2375b (1st DCA 11/6/17)


DOMESTICATION: Court lacked jurisdiction to domesticate out-of-state divorce judgment for purposes of modifying child support and child custody provisions where two of children were no longer minors, former wife and minor child resided in foreign state, and Florida was not minor child's home state. Kessinger v. Kessinger, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2374a (1st DCA 11/6/17)


CONTEMPT-VIOLATION OF PARENTING PLAN: Contempt is inappropriate where parties squabble about leaving the children alone for 45 minutes to go to the grocery store and the children refuse to accept carrots, hummus and apples for lunch.   Kane v. Sanders, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2356a (3rd DCA 11/1/17)

: Court erred in summarily denying petition for protection against cyberstalking without a hearing.   Vitale v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2315a (4th DCA 11/1/17)

ALIMONY-IMPUTED INCOME: Court erred in holding that, for purposes of awarding alimony, income should be imputed to wife based on her eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits she had not yet applied to receive, and for declining to chose early benefits in favor of greater benefits later. Huertas del Pino v. Huertas del Pino, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2313b (4th DCA 1/11/17)




JUDGMENT: Appearance of impropriety arose when trial judge adopted verbatim husband's proposed final judgment, which husband submitted ex parte, without orally announcing findings or rulings during or at end of trial. Although a trial court may request that counsel for both parties submit a proposed final judgment, the court may not adopt the judgment verbatim, blindly, or without making in-court findings.  West v. West, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2294a (5th DCA 10/27/17)

INJUNCTION: Court erred in denying without hearing prisoner's motion for relief from order denying his motion to dissolve injunction on basis of prisoner's failure to attend hearing on motion to dissolve where motion for relief from order alleged that prisoner did not receive order until 48 hours after its entry. Garcia v. R.A.G., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2292a (5th DCA 10/27/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Court may not terminate parental rights without proof that services had been provided to parent or that it would be futile to attempt to provide services.   C.W. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2287b (1st DCA 10/27/17)


CONTEMPT-TIMESHARING: Court may not reduce father's timesharing as a sanction for contempt.  Duncan v. Brickman, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2272a (2nd DCA 10/25/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS-ADOPTION: In adoption proceeding that involves involuntary termination of parental rights under chapter 63, trial court errs when it fails to make inquiry as to whether parent would qualify for court-appointed counsel and, if so, to offer representation.  M.M. v. K.P., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2261a (2nd DCA 10/25/17),%202017/2D16-4982.pdf

: Calculation of passive appreciation of nonmarital property requires a determination of: (1) the current fair market value of the home; (2) whether there was passive appreciation in the home's value; (3) whether the passive appreciation is a marital asset; (4) the value of the passive appreciation that accrued during the marriage, subject to equitable distribution; and (5) how the value is allocated.   Hodge v. Hodge, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2248b (5th DCA 10/20/17)


CHILD SUPPORT-CONTEMPT: Court erred by denying father's motion seeking to enforce child support arrearages which involved pre-majority arrearages. Motion for contempt could not be denied on basis of either laches or equitable estoppel absent evidentiary hearing.    Lovejoy v. Poole, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2245b (5th DCA 10/20/17)


CHILD CUSTODY-JURISDICTION: Court erred in denying wife's challenge to Florida court's subject matter jurisdiction over parties and their children without affording parties an evidentiary hearing given UCCJEA affidavit husband included with his filings which reflected that all of the couple's children had resided in foreign country for two years immediately prior to filing of dissolution proceeding and had lived most of their lives in foreign nations and wife's verified petition stating that neither she, nor her husband, nor any of their children had ever established residence in Florida.   Scudder v. Scudder, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2243c (2nd DCA 10/20/17),%202017/2D16-5655.pdf

TIMESHARING: Court erred in requiring parties to equally split responsibility of transportation for timesharing where issue was not pled or tried by consent.   Bailey v. Bailey, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2187a (1st DCA 10/16/17)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION-STOCK OPTIONS: Court must make specific findings as to whether stock options are a source of income or property subject to distribution. If a trial court decides to treat a stock option as an asset, it cannot also treat that same option as income Child support and alimony determinations require this finding. Goodman v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2180a (2nd DCA 10/13/17),%202017/2D15-2640.pdf


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: When marital assets are used during the marriage to reduce the mortgage on nonmarital property, the increase in equity is a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. Husband should not be given dollar-for-dollar credit for said contributions, but rather for one half the value.  Betts v. Betts, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2178c (2nd DCA 10/13/17),%202017/2D16-3090.pdf

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS-NOTICE: Final judgment of termination of parental rights is vacated where DCF failed to personally serve the mother with the petition and summons.   G.H. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2173c (3rd DCA 10/11/17)


CHILD SUPPORT: Court cannot reweigh the evidence considered by Administrative Law Judge. Hernandez v. DOR, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2168a (3rd DCA 10/11/17)


PATERNITY-DISESTABLISHMENT: Father may petition to disestablish paternity based on DNA test regardless whether the putative father was willing to acknowledge his paternity. L.G. v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2156a (4th DCA 10/11/17)


CHILD CUSTODY-MODIFICATION: Court lacks authority to require specific steps to restore time-sharing or eliminate time-sharing restrictions. "Vesting authority in the courts to establish such steps appears contrary to § 61.13(3). . .And it isn't this court's place to undercut the statute by introducing a parallel, judicially created process or means by which dissatisfied parents can require courts to re-modify a

parenting plan or time-sharing schedule." Conflict certified. Dukes v. Griffin, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2151b (1st DCA 10/11/17)


IMPUTED INCOME: Court may not impute $80,000 of income to former husband on assumption he could secure a job as a corporate pilot where there was no evidence that there are any corporate pilot positions available in area for which former husband is qualified and that would work with equal timesharing plan.  Broga v. Broga, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2151a (1st DCA 10/11/17)


APPEAL: Judgment affirmed where record does not contain a transcript of the evidentiary hearing.     Foster v. Foster, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2120a (1st DCA 10/5/17)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION:  Court erred in valuing parties' money market accounts as of filing date of dissolution petition where accounts had been depleted after filing date for marital purposes and there was no finding of intentional waste or dissipation of assets by husband.  Schroll v. Schroll, Fla. L. Weekly D2144a (1st DCA 10/6/17)


ALIMONY: Where the Wife has a clear need for permanent alimony, but it is established that the Husband does not have the current ability to pay, Court should order a nominal award of permanent alimony in order to preserve jurisdiction to revisit this matte upon a substantial change in the parties' respective financial circumstances.  Schroll v. Schroll, Fla. L. Weekly D2144a (1st DCA 10/6/17)


FAMILY LAW RULES-AMENDMENT: Financial Affidavit is not required in Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.  In Re: Amendments, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S834a (FLA 10/5/17)

SHARED PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: A blanket, nonspecific award of ultimate decision-making authority is unlawful where there is no competent, substantial evidence that the other parent's parenting decisions were dangerous or contrary to normal medical care.   Neville v. McKibben, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2119a (1st DCA 10/5/17)


NAME CHANGE: Court may not order the Child's surname changed based solely on a finding of paternity and a desire to "carry on" the father's family name.   Neville v. McKibben, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2119a (1st DCA 10/5/17)


RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: There are no time limits for motions for relief from judgment based on fraudulent financial affidavits in marital cases.  Kohl v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2108a (4th DCA 10/4/17)

PATERNITY: Putative father may seek to establish paternity of a child born into an intact marriage over the married parties objection.  Perkins v. Simmonds, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2104b (4th DCA 10/4/17)

PATERNITY-DISESTABLISHMENT: Individual who claimed to be biological father of dependent child who was born out of wedlock had standing, in dependency proceedings, to challenge paternity of person listed as father on child's birth certificate on basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.  In the interest of Y.R-P. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2093a (2nd DCA 10/4/17),%202017/2D16-5598.pdf




JUDGMENT: Court did not err by adopting mother's proposed final judgment verbatim. Lukacs v. Ice, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2088a (1st DCA 9/29/17)

DISQUALIFICATION: A motion to disqualify should be granted where a judge makes negative comments about a party that are unnecessary to resolving the issue before it. Lukacs v. Ice, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2088a (1st DCA 9/29/17)


PREJUDGMENT INTEREST: Court is not required to impose prejudgment interest on unpaid alimony. Kuchera v. Kuchera, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2048a (4th DCA 9/27/17)


APPEALS: Order partially ruling on petition to modify parenting schedule and child support is not a final order.  Viker v. Cherry, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2070a (1st DCA 9/27/17)


: A marital settlement agreement as to child support is binding on the parties, subject to the court's review that it is in the best interests of the children. Court cannot order child support inconsistent with the Marital Settlement Agreement.  Bell v. Broch, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2045b (4th DCA 9/27/17)

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Transfer of custody of 18-month-old child from foster care to prospective adoptive parents chosen by mother was supported by competent substantial evidence that, although child was bonded to foster parents, transfer was in best interests of child. Mother's right to choose adoptive family for her child is a relevant factor.  W.K. and M.K. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2043a (4th DCA 9/27/17)


ATTORNEY'S FEES: Court may not required a party to advance the fees charged by court-appointed guardian ad litem and guardian's attorney prior to taking guardian's deposition. Adkins v. Solongo, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2030b (3rd DCA 9/20/17)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Parties to a marriage cannot contract away or waive temporary support and attorney's fees before a final judgment is entered.   Ortiz v. Ortiz, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2025a (3rd DCA 9/20/17)

INCOME TAX EXEMPTION: Court must condition right to claim federal income tax dependency exemption without requiring that the parent be current on child support payments.  Alston v. Vazquez, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2021a (5th DCA 9/18/17)

PARENTING CLASS: Court erred by ordering both parties to complete a cooperative parenting and divorce program together where only the wife was non-compliant.  Carson v. Carson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2020b (5th DCA 9/18/17)


TEMPORARY SUPPORT: In ordering temporary support, court must make a specific factual determination about Wife's need and Husband's ability to pay.  Buchanan v. Buchanan, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2001a (1st DCA 9/13/17)


ALIMONY: Bridge the gap alimony is appropriate for expenses of transitioning to single life. Nugent v. State, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1996b (5th DCA 9/7/17)

CHILD SUPPORT: Husband is not voluntarily underemployed where his new job allows him greater participation in child's life. Discussion.  Gillette v. Gillette, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1947a (4th DCA 9/6/17)

DOMESTICATION OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT: Court cannot refuse to enforce foreign judgment even if judgment violated Florida's public policy concerning child's right to child support. Pulkkinen v. Pulkinen, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1938b (1st DCA 9/5/17)


GUARDIANSHIP: Where the ward's right to contract has been removed by statute, the ward is not required to obtain court approval prior to exercising the right to marry, but court approval is necessary before such a marriage can be given legal effect. Ward or the intended spouse may seek court approval after marrying in order to ratify the marriage. The concept of a "void" or "voidable" marriage does not apply. Smith v. Smith, 42 Fla. L. Weekly S773a (FLA 8/31/17)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Argument that there was insufficient evidence to support attorney's fees award could be raised for first time on appeal. Ability to pay is one consideration. An award of attorney's fees must contain express findings regarding the number of hours reasonably expended and a reasonable hourly rate for the type of litigation involved. Smith v. Smith, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1922a (4th DCA 8/30/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court may not value pension at $102,000 when the evidence showed at the time of filing it was worth only $5,500. Smith v. Smith, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1922a (4th DCA 8/30/17)

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Court may not terminate parental rights where children have not been adjudicated dependent and no case plan had been filed with the court. Parental rights may not be terminated on the basis of on pled grounds of abandonment and threatened harm to child.  T.H. and S.D. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1913a (4th DCA 8/30/17)

DEPENDENT CHILDREN: Foster parents lacked standing to appeal transfer of child from foster care to prospective adoptive parents chosen by the mother.   W.K. and M.K. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1909a (4th DCA 8/30/17)

ATTORNEY'S FEES: Court may consider Wife's conduct during litigation in considering whether to award attorney's fees.  Rosaler v. Rosaler, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1904a (4th DCA 8/30/17)

ALIMONY-MODIFICATION: Court erred in denying husband's petition for downward modification of alimony on ground that a stipulated settlement agreement waived his right to seek downward modification unless he became involuntarily unemployed. Kallett v. Kastriner, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1877a (2nd DCA 8/30/17),%202017/2D16-1219.pdf


ALIMONY: Court erred in dissolving lien imposed on now-deceased former husband's real property secure award of alimony where the lien was intended to serve as security for the ongoing stream of payments to the former wife. Mackoul v. Mackoul, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1873c (1st DCA 8/28/17)


INJUNCTION-STALKING: Court cannot enter an injunction against stalking where the acts in question were one continuous course of conduct (pulling a gun on neighbors who were shooting off Fourth of July fireworks). Packal v. Johnson, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1863b (5th DCA 8/25/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Court erred by failing to assign a value to the marital business based on personal goodwill or there was evidence of the business had tangible assets aside from the goodwill. Higgens v. Higgens, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1853b (4th DCA 8/23/17)


EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION-DISSIPATION OF ASSETS: Court erred in including the tax refund in equitable distribution where the refund was dissipated before trial and there was no finding of misconduct. Higgens v. Higgens, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1853b (4th DCA 8/23/17)


DEPENDENT CHILDREN-REUNIFICATION: The standard for reunification will A court may deny reunification if it is not in the child's best interest even if the court does not find that reunification would endanger the child. upon compliance with a case plan is whether the safety, well-being in physical mental emotional health of the child would not be endangered and whether reunification would be in the best interest of the child.  EI.N. v. DCF, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1838b (2nd DCA 8/23/17),%202017/2D17-1066.pdf



ATTORNEY'S FEES-APPEAL: Where appellate court conditionally granted former wife's motion for appellate attorney's fees and remanded for trial court to fix amount, Court improperly awarded appellate fees without considering need and ability to pay. Viscito v. Viscito, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1829a (3rd DCA 8/23/17)

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION: Earnings from oil and gas company and drilling rights are marital assets where earnings were commingled notwithstanding that the business was acquired before the marriage.  Sturms v. Sturms, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1824d (1st DCA 8/21/17)


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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