Family Law Case Updates – July 2012


Jones v. Jones, 90 So.3d 991 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Order denying exceptions to Magistrate’s report is a non final non appealable order.

Debolt v. Debolt, 90 So.3d 374 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).  Court dismissed appeal on award of entitlement to fees as premature because amount was not yet determined.

Attorney Fees:

Goldstein v. Goldstein, 90 So.3d 970 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Abuse of discretion not to award wife fees even though she received more liquid assets than husband in equitable distribution when great disparity in income and wife had need.

George v. George, 93 So.3d 464 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012).  Trial court erred in determining ability to pay fees and imputating income to husband.  Trial court failed to provide findings of facts to explain deductions to husband’s gross income.  Further, trial court erred in imputing additional $2200 in rent which Husband’s parents provided for free.  Appropriate approach is to determine net income and deduct husband’s reasonable living expenses.  Here, husband had no living expenses to deduct.

Child Support:

DOR v. Dorkins, 91 So.3d 278 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).  Court erred in deviating from guidelines when deviation based upon informal visitation arrangement which had not been incorporated in court authorized parenting plan.


Jackson v. Jackson, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1682 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012).  Trial court erred denying wife’s motion for contempt.  Spendthrift clause in corporation’s bylaws was not a circumstance that intervened since the order was entered.  Further, husband had ability from IRA and annuity, even if there were penalties/taxes.

Equitable Distribution:

Goldstein V. Goldstein, 90 So.3d 970 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Error to charge account depleted during pendency to party without finding of intentional depletion.

Blossman v. Blossman, 92 So.3d 878 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).  Trial court reversed for splitting difference between two opposing expert’s valuations of stock without findings of fact.  Florida law prohibits this type of valuation.


Tullier v. Tullier, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1636 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Trial court’s final judgment modifying supervised contact to unsupervised affirmed when former husband presented expert testimony he did not relapse, therapist opined former husband should have unsupervised contact, former husband had no problems during supervised visits, and another member of former husband’s therapy group testified to his high attendance.

Koski v. Koski, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1642 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Denial of request to modify remanded for findings of fact.  Former husband proved former wife’s income increased from $1700 to $4900 per month and there was no evidence parties anticipated increase in former wife’s income.  Once former husband meets substantial, permanent and unanticipated change burden, trial court is required to consider relevant 61.08(2) factors to determine appropriate amount of alimony.

Fazzini v. Davis, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1659 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012).  Trial court erred in denying former husband’s petition to modify agreement with deceased wife’s mother.  Florida’s constitutional right of privacy and decisional law give to this parent the sole authority to determine what is best for his child, without interference from a grandparent.


Le v. Nguyen, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1604 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012).  Trial court erred in requiring party to show substantial charge of circumstances as burden to set aside agreed to parenting plan before it was incorporated into final judgment; appropriate burden was best interests of child.


Doyle v. Doyle, 91 So.3d 250 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012).  Wife attempted to avoid trial by filing notice of voluntary dismissal.  Trial court affirmed for vacating dismissal when Husband sought affirmative relief.

Henderson v. Lyons, 93 So.3d 399 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012).  Order assessing parental coordinator costs remanded for full hearing when party was not allowed to complete cross or present evidence.

Booth v. Booth, 91 So.3d 272 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).  It was error for a successor Judge on unchanged facts to enter an order vacating a final decree of predecessor Judge.  A successor Judge cannot review, modify or revise upon the merits, on the same facts, final order of predecessor unless there exists special circumstance such as mistake or fraud.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: