Stephens’ Squibs – October 2013

Agreements:

Teague v. Teague, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2114 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Order denying relief from QDRO reversed.  Parties’ settlement agreement provides Wife was entitled to 50% of the amount in Husband’s retirement accumulated during marriage and loans would be “taken into account” for distribution purposes.  Trial court entered QDRO submitted by Wife.  Husband was not afforded opportunity to review proposed QDRO which excluded loans.  Both parties testified that loans taken during marriage were meant to be included.

Alimony:

Grill v. Grill, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2187 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Denial of permanent alimony in long term marriage when Wife could not explain how she spent $180,000 from the sale of a non marital property reversed.  The Wife is not required to liquidate and deplete her assets for living expenses in lieu of alimony.

Patino v. Patino, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2112 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Final judgment with findings on 6 of 10 alimony factors reversed.  Without discussion of all 10 factors, judgment could not support award of alimony.

Turcotte v. Turcotte, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2104 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Award of nominal alimony reversed and remanded when the trial court failed to provide findings in this 13 year gray area marriage.  When a marriage falls within the gray area, findings are essential to facilitate appellate review.

Voda v. Voda, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2101 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Final judgment awarding $500/month alimony reversed when Court failed to make findings about Husband’s ability to pay.

Attorneys’ Fees:

Schoenlank v. Schoenlank, 38 fLW D2175 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013).  Trial court affirmed for denying “prevailing party” fees when both parties prevailed on significant issues.

Patino v. Patino, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2112 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  When equitable distribution or alimony is disturbed due to a reversal on appeal it may be appropriate to reexamine attorneys’ fees.

Coppola v. Coppola, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2045 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Order denying motion to enforce payment of attorneys’ fees because party lacked standing when judgment directed fees to be paid to attorney.

Domestic Violence:

Weisberg v. Albert, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2170 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Threat to son in law that “If you ever try that again, you’ll be dead” without any act of violence insufficient to support entry of DV injunction.

Arnold v. Santana, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2098 (Fla. 1st DSCA 2013).  Injunction against DV reversed when not supported by competent evidence.  Verbal abuse, breaking down door, and a text that Respondent “was watching” Petitioner was insufficient.  An injunction against DV requires malicious harassment that consists at the very least of some threat of imminent violence which excludes mere uncivil behavior that causes distress and annoyance.  The statutory definition of ‘domestic violence’ requires some showing of violence or a threat of violence.  General harassment does not suffice.

Barbieri v. Muller, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2093 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Order dissolving DV injunction reversed when court reweighed evidence supporting initial injunction rather than finding a change in circumstances since injunction was issued.

Enforcement:

J.S. v. S.R., 2013 WL 5629450 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).  Contempt order modifying time sharing reversed when there was no pleading requesting modification.

Brennan v. Brennan, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2081 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Order requiring Husband to pay attorneys’ fees as additional purge reversed when Wife did not demonstrate adequate need.  Record did not contain current financial affidavit of Wife.  While Wife testified she could not pay bills, no evidence was presented about her current income or the assets she currently possesses.

Equitable Distribution:

Watson v. Watson, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2181 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).  Equitable Distribution providing unequal distribution remanded when trial court failed to include findings explaining disparity.

Patino v. Patino, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2112 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Final judgment that distributes marital property without stating the value of marital assets and liabilities is insufficient.

Brennan v. Brennan, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2081 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Error to award equity of marital home to Wife without findings as to value or without transferring title.  Further, when a request for partition complies with F.S. 64.041 and is not contested, failure to divide the property is reversible error.

Imputation of Income:

Brennan v. Brennan, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2081 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Error to impute income other than median income without findings of fact.

Life Insurance:

Froeschle v. Froeschle, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2105 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Error for trial court to reduce Former Husband’s requirement to secure his support with life insurance from $500k to $250k when even opposing party conceded it should be $132k.

Modification:

Hedstrom v. Hedstrom, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2196 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Order of modification reversed when trial court should have applied greater reduction to arrears due to Former Husband’s unemployment during pendency of modification and reduction should have been made retroactive to date income reduced.

Parenting:

C.B. v. M.A., 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2187 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013).  Final judgment of paternity reversed because trial court failed to determine holiday and summer timesharing.

Millen v. Millen, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2076 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013).  Because Husband failed to object to non-attorney GAL examining witnesses at trial, objection was waived.  Judgment was affirmed.  Court will not consider issues for the first time on appeal unless it is fundamental error.  It is a mistake to hold a pro se litigant to a lesser standard than a reasonable competent attorney.

Relocation:

Blakely v. Blakely, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2170 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Order providing child would attend freshman year of high school at an out of state boarding school was an order relating to educational decisions and not an order on relocation.

Fetzer v. Evans, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2138 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).  Order denying relocation affirmed.  Lengthy discussion.

Support:

Brennan v. Brennan, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2081 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).  Error to require non custodial parent to pay for private school without findings that (1) parent has ability, (2) expense is in accordance with parties’ standard of living and (3) attendance is in child’s best interest.

 

Like us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/stephenssquibs

Follow us on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/StephensSquibs

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s