Family Law Case Updates – January 2013


Cooley v. Cooley, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D154 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013)  Award of durational alimony of 192 months reversed when marriage only lasted 150 months.

Zvida v. Zvida, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D105 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Error to require life insurance to secure alimony and child support when there was no finding as to special circumstances and no findings as to cost and availability.  Further Court erred in naming Wife beneficiary for life insurance securing child support.


Christ v. Christ, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D121 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).  Untimely motion for rehearing did not toll time to file appeal.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Arena v. Arena, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D92 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Partial award (60%) of attorneys’ fees reversed when Court failed to explain why only partial award was granted and there is great disparity in income.

Domestic Violence:

Waddell v. Delorenzo, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D74 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012).  Evidence of cursing and vague threats of violence yelled from a distance is not sufficient to support a finding of violence in petition for injunction against repeat violence.

Equitable Distribution:

Zvida v. Zvida, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D105 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Error to charge Husband with depleted account that was worth $117k a year before the trial, and $3k at time of trial because Husband did not provide an appropriate accounting.  There was no evidence Husband wasted account.  Only evidence presented was balance of account.

Imputation of Income:

Giorlando v. Giorlando, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D1 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Trial court reversed for failing to consider former wife’s agreed upon imputed income at time of divorce during modification proceeding.  Because Former Wife filed modification, she bore burden to show change in circumstances that she was no longer capable of earning agreed upon imputed income (even though there was no evidence Wife ever earned this amount, or could currently earn agreed upon amount).  Differentiates Schmachtenberg.  OPINION CHANGES LAW ON EVIDENCE REQUIRED TO IMPUTE INCOME.


Sueiro v. Gallardo, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D63 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2012).  Final judgment modifying custody because of alienation reversed for two reasons:  1)  record did not support contention Former Wife was alienating child, 2) therapist recommended gradual transition, not immediate.


Gorney v. St. Leger, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D154 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Order reversed because party never effectuated service.  Lengthy, technical opinion.


Morrell v. Morrell, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D22 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).  Trial court affirmed for enforcing obligation to obtain life insurance by contempt as it was incidence to support.  If former husband unable to secure life insurance, he must deposit equivalent amount of cash in wife’s name in event he predeceases her.


Board Certified Marital and Family Attorney, Eddie Stephens
Board Certified Marital and Family Attorney, Eddie Stephens

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