Family Law Case Updates – February 2013


McClain v. McClain, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D167 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013).  Award of alimony reversed when alimony never requested in pleadings. 

Doganiero v. Doganiero, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D284 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Award of $100 durational alimony in 17 year marriage reversed when Husband imputed $52,000 in income and had future prospects.  No reasonable court would impose this.  Also remanded for court to consider permanent alimony in this case.


Toussaint v. Toussaint, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D194 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).  Final judgment finding provision unambiguous reversed when even though Magistrate, Judge, and parties agreed term was unambiguous, no one could agree on what provision meant.  Trial court erred prohibiting parole evidence.   

Palmer v. Palmer, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D384 (Fla. 1st DCA).  Trial court affirmed for affirming a penalty clause for former Husband’s failure to refinance house.  At most, this provision makes judgment voidable.  But because Husband failed to seek appeal, modification, vacation of order, order is now not subject to collateral attack.  

Attorneys’ Fees:

Heiny v. Heiny, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D200 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Award of 100% of attorneys’ fees to Wife for Husband’s misconduct remanded to apportion fee based upon additional work necessitated by Husband’s misconduct.

Davis v. Davis, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D329 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Denial of attorneys’ fees reversed when based on future prospects.  Decision needs to be based on present financial circumstances. 

Quintero v. Rodriguez, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D373 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Denial of attorneys’ fees reversed when with imputed income former wife left with “negligible surplus” and former husband left with “health surplus”. 

Domestic Violence:

Waddell v. DeLorenzo, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D226 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Cursing and yelling vague threats from a distance without any acts of violence insufficient to support injunction against repeat violence. 


Anton v. Anton, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D230 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013).  Order of indirect criminal contempt reversed where defendant did not receive notice of possible criminal penalties at contempt hearing.  No show cause order was entered. 

Equitable Distribution:

Heiny v. Heiny, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D200 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Court made multiple errors in property distribution (i.e. distributing account spent during pendency, failed to include liabilities, etc.). 

Davis v. Davis, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D329 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Order categorizing condo Wife inherited as marital reversed.  Further, Husband failed to prove marital enhancement.


In Re:  Amendments to Lawyer Advertising Rules, 38 Fla.L.Weekly 547 (Fla. 2013). Comprehensive amendments to lawyer advertising rules.  Lessens restrictions on traditional forms of advertising and lumps all methods of lawyer communication (billboards, TV, websites) together. 


Ashby v. Murray, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D375 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Trial court reversed for failing to dissolve ex parte order transferring custody to father after evidentiary hearing where Father’s initial concerns that triggered ex parte order were not proven at later evidentiary hearing. 


Newman v. Harper, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D311 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Paternity judgment affirming majority of timesharing in Mississippi.  Fact intensive analysis.

Davis v. Davis, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D329 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Court erred in admitting hearsay DCF reports without testimony of authors, but error was harmless as evidence was duplicative. 


Hickman v. Milsap, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D130 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Relief afforded by disestablishment of paternity statute does not extend to arrearages. 

Weelde v. Weelde, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D313 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Summary judgment order delegitimizing child from legal father reversed.  Court did consider whether it was in child’s best interest to overcome presumption of legitimacy.  See DOR v. Privette, 617 So.2d 305 (Fla.1993).

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